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Benny Andrews

"The Migrant Series"

Inspired by the writings of John Steinbeck, Flannery O'Connor, Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, "The Migrant Series" follows the great American migrations that redefined the population of the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The first works in the series depicts the westward migration from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Northern-most Texas in the 1930s, the period of drought that redefined the region as the "Dust Bowl." Andrews concentrates on the transience of the migrants, the packing, travel and camps that defined this period of poverty and uncertainty in American history.

Other installments will trace the northern migration of African Americans and the Native Americans' "Trail of Tears."

Andrews' ancestors are European, African and Native American, and in telling the story of American migrations he is recounting his own history.

Andrews was born in Plainview, Georgia in 1930. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War, attended the Art Institute of Chicago and moved to New York in 1958. He served as the director of the Visual Arts Program at the National Endowment for the Arts in the early-1980s and was a professor on the faculty of Queens College for many years. He has lived in New York for over four decades, and maintains a studio in Georgia. His work has re-explored issues of race, family and heritage from the point of view of his early years in the South.