David Ramey (American 1939-2017) Gainsboro Road (detail), copyright David Ramey

David Ramey (American 1939-2017) Gainsboro Road (detail), copyright David Ramey

David Ramey: Gainsboro Road and Beyond

The Harrison Museum of African American Culture and the Taubman Museum of Art take great pride in jointly presenting the drawings and stories of Roanoke artist David Ramey (1939-2017) in the exhibition Gainsboro Road and Beyond.

The exhibit provides unique selections of the artist’s work and stories that record the artist’s youthful memories of Roanoke’s thriving Black communities of Gainsboro and Northeast from the mid-1940’s through the late 1960’s.

On view at the Harrison Museum are drawings and stories from the illustrated book that the artist self-published in 2012, The Times and Life on Henry Street, as well as a collection of drawings and stories intended for the as-yet-unpublished book Gainsboro Road and Beyond.

This exhibition draws from among the more than 700 drawings Ramey created throughout the 1980’s through the early 2000’s to share his perspective on much of what was lost.

The memories David Ramey shares are of the Gainsboro neighborhood and beyond as it existed before national urban renewal programs. The Gainsboro History Project provides stories, connections, and the history of this community.

It is a tribute to David Ramey and the power of his artistic genius that this exhibition provides an opportunity to explore and learn about both the glories and the challenges of the past, as well as a forum to work together toward a more promising and just future.

A very special thanks to the artist’s son, David Ramey, Jr., for preserving and sharing his father’s works. Many thanks to The Gainsboro History Project for the opportunity to reference their important scholarship.

We are grateful to exhibition partners Hollins UniversityRoanoke Collegethe Roanoke Higher Education Center, and Roanoke Public Libraries for helping us celebrate and present these drawings and stories to the public.

David Ramey: Gainsboro Road and Beyond is organized by the Harrison Museum of African American Culture and the Taubman Museum of Art.

Harrison Museum of African American Culture welcomes visitors Wednesday through Saturday 10 am-3 pm.

All images ©David A. Ramey