Usher Pre-purchases Romare Bearden Painting to Kick Off Atlanta Exhibition - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

Jerry Thomas Jr., Esq., owner of Jerry Thomas Arts, an art advisory and art brokerage firm, recently sold a Romare Bearden watercolor painting on paper, Obeah of High Category, to Grammy Award-winning artist Usher.

Romare Bearden, an African American artist, and writer, was best known for his signature technique–vibrant art collages. “I have always wanted to add artwork by Romare Bearden, one of America’s most important artists, to my collection,” said Usher.

“I was particularly drawn to this striking painting because of the boldness and simplicity. My art advisor, Jerry, felt that this piece was unlike any other Bearden watercolor and the piece hints of Bearden’s admiration for Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work.” When asked if he or his wife would make the decision on where the treasured piece will hang in their suburban Atlanta residence, the hitmaker simply smiled.

According to a press release statement, “Thomas used his longstanding relationship with the Romare Bearden Foundation to partner with the Alan Avery Art Company to bring Atlanta one of the largest and most diverse Bearden exhibitions to ever be held at a private gallery outside of New York City. The exhibition runs through Jan. 16, 2016, at the Alan Avery Art Company. The deal for the roughly 30 by 22-inch piece was sealed weeks before the exhibition. Romare Bearden: When I Conjure These Memories, previewed on November 13, before an invitation-only crowd.”

“Yet another pop culture icon, Kasseem Dean (Swizz Beatz), husband of Alicia Keys, established a record high purchase for a Thornton Dial work on paper when he purchased a drawing auctioned by Thomas in August 2013. Thomas was also the first American art dealer to represent the works of Netherlands-based abstract expressionism painter, Sam Middleton, until his death in July 2015. Thomas curated the Atlanta exhibition celebrating the centennial of Romare Bearden’s birth in 2011/2012. The show was one of six Romare Bearden exhibitions staged across the country.”

Jerry Thomas Arts in collaboration with Alan Avery Art Company will exhibit over 25 paintings, collages, watercolors, and monotypes from the Romare Bearden collection. The exhibition runs through Jan. 16, 2016, at the Alan Avery Art Company.

Alan Avery Art Company is located at 315 East Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta, Georgia. Gallery hours are Tuesday—Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.—5 p.m., and also by appointment.