The Yale MFA Program could occupy an entire chapter in a future history of African American art and Felandus Thames would likely hold a prominent place within it. Noted African American, Yale MFA graduates from the 1960s include Howardena Pindell, William T. Williams, and Bob Reed, who joined the Yale art faculty and has become a campus legend both for his rigor and out-sized imagination.
Over the past two decades, the MFA Program has become a storied pipe-line for expediting the transit of students from New Haven to exhibitions at the Studio Museum in Harlem and at leading galleries in New York and beyond. These students include Abegail Deville, Titus Kaphar, Mickalene Thomas and Kehinde Wiley. Recent grads also include Njideka Akunyili Crosby, a Nigerian artist who has won prestigious prizes and now makes her home in the U.S. Thames, a 2008 graduate of Jackson State University, received his Yale MFA in 2010. (read more)
Blackface: A Reclamation of Beauty, Power and Narrative