James Powers, Brooklyn Gallerist Who Nurtured Black Artists, Dies at 80

James Powers, a medical supply salesman, had always loved art and when he was laid off in his early 40s, he realized he could focus on that passion, and teach others about it, too. So he opened the Spiral Gallery in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn.

He named his gallery in honor of the Spiral Group, the short-lived collective of Black artists formed in the early 1960s by Charles Alston, Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis and Hale Woodruff to tackle issues both political and aesthetic. His gallery wasn’t a political space, but in the late 1980s and early ’90s it became a community for Black artists and art-lovers, a rollicking festival of culture with monthly openings that spilled out onto Vanderbilt Avenue.

via Powers family

This obituary is part of a series about people who have died in the coronavirus pandemic. Read about others here .

James Powers, a medical supply salesman, had always loved art and when he was laid off in his early 40s, he realized he could focus […]

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