Welcome! Here you can find information about Drinking Gourd Gallery's Current, Past, and Upcoming exhibitions. You can enjoy all of our exhibitions online. If an exhibition is still available for in-person viewing, we will note the location details in the description. Many of our exhibited works are for sale, so if you see something you like, please jot down the title and search our web site for details. 

Drinking Gourd Gallery presents THE WEIGHT ON MY SHOULDERS, June 1, 2024-June 30, 2024

Drinking Gourd Gallery will present The Weight on My Shoulders exhibition in June 2024 in recognition of Men’s Mental Health Awareness month. Through a series of artwork, photography, and video, this group exhibition will focus on the importance of men's mental health in both the civilian and veteran communities. This artistic showcase will offer a nuanced exploration of the shared struggles, unique challenges, and resilience found within these diverse populations. From societal expectations and cultural stigmas to personal experiences and coping mechanisms, the exhibition aims to foster understanding, empathy, and dialogue surrounding the complexities of men's mental health. Join us in breaking down barriers, challenging preconceptions, and promoting pathways to accessible care and support. Together, we can build a more inclusive and compassionate society where every individual's mental health is valued.

Drinking Gourd Gallery is proud to be presenting The Weight on My Shoulders  art exhibition in partnership with Camilla Y. Black, M.Ed., LCMHC, artist Maria Tavarez of Moonchild LLC, and artist Barbara A. Outterson. 


M is for Menopause, Baby! October 18, 2023 - November 15, 2023

M is for Menopause, Baby! is a major group exhibition that uses art to raise awareness and challenge the myths, stereotypes, and stigma that surround the menopausal journey. Featuring more than 50 works from North Carolina artists— including vibrant paintings, works on paper, assemblage, and mixed media artwork — the exhibition celebrates the diversity and complexity of the menopausal experience.

By 2025, it’s estimated that 1.1 billion women will be experiencing menopause, or “The Change” as it is frequently called. Menopause is not a disease. Menopause is not a mental health condition. It is a natural part of the aging process when a woman has gone 12 months without a menstrual period. In the United States, the average age for menopause is 51. However, it can occur earlier in life. But what is menopause? What does it mean to be perimenopausal or postmenopausal? Too often, these normal life stages are spoken about negatively in hushed tones as if they’re something to be ashamed of or feared. Those with symptoms may be told it’s all in their mind and struggling can become normalized. The M is for Menopause, Baby! exhibition aims to help reframe the narrative around the subject of menopause. 

The exhibition is presented by Drinking Gourd Gallery in partnership with Rocky Mount Mills, Kiki Piper, and UNC Health Nash.

If you were unable to travel to Rocky Mount Mills for the in-person exhibition, you can view the exhibition virtually here.
Accompanied by a catalogue
#misformenopausebaby #ArtExhibition2023 #ExploreArt #Engage #Creativity

Corliss R. Owen: Plain Folk  Aug 29, 2022 - 15 October 15, 2022 (Extended through November 12, 2022)

Pictured Artwork: Auntea by Corliss R. Owen 

Folk artist Corliss R. Owen is a visual storyteller. She creates compelling art that is steeped in tradition and conveys a sense of community. Her vivid, vibrantly colored paintings are reminiscent of heirloom quilts and beautifully capture the joys of everyday life. There is balance and harmony in Corliss’ work. A lyricism that brings to mind melodious jazz, foot stompin’ blues, old-time gospel and favorite ballads. Corliss R. Owen: Plain Folk is a solo exhibition that presents more than 20 of the artist’s paintings that work to broaden historical and cultural understandings.

HER  March 1, 2022 - April 30, 2022

Pictured Artwork (top row, left to right): Queen of Her Hive by Kirsten Moore; She Is by Mayanthi Jayawardena; Schoolgirls by Jade and (bottom row) Girlfriends by Corliss R. Owen 

In celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, Drinking Gourd Gallery presents the exhibition, HER on view from March 1 through March 31, 2022. This group exhibition places women and girls at the forefront, as subject matter and as artists. HER features the work of Corliss R. Owen, Brenda Harris, Carol Torian, Mayanthi Jayawardena, Shelvy Ramsey Torian, Kirsten Moore, and Jade. Collectively, these artists represent different generations and ethnic backgrounds, some are students, some are immigrants, some are parents, and all are balancing the joys and challenges of being an artist. Their artwork showcases a diversity of styles, themes, and techniques and provides for an exploration of powerful images of women and girls that are alternately witty, funny, resolute, and introspective.


Brenda Harris: Something Old, Something New June 25, 2022  - August 6, 2022

Pictured Artwork: Red Bird in a Tree by Brenda Harris

Brenda Harris: Something Old, Something New embraces experimentation and reuse. In celebration of summer, Harris presents works that reflect her love of nature. From compositions of flowers in bloom to a red bird in a tree to a whimsical llama and a barn, she shows us the beauty of the natural world. The layers, textures, colors, structure and rhythm found in Harris' work reminds us of our relationship and responsibility to the Earth. The installation features paintings created on reused papers and Masonite board and incorporates materials such as plaster.



February 7-May 31, 2022 | Downtown Durham

The countdown begins! Darryl Matthews: Black Diamond is coming to Durham, NC! The exhibition opens at the American Tobacco Campus Reed Art Gallery on February 7 and runs through May 31, 2022.
“Darryl Matthews: Black Diamond” celebrates Negro Leagues Baseball and honors the legends of the game. The solo exhibition features over 20 watercolor paintings by Matthews who is the son of Newark Eagles’ player Francis Oliver Matthews. Explore the history of the Negro Leagues through the stories of players such as Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige, Francis Oliver Matthews, Jackie Robinson, Buck Leonard, Toni Stone and many others. These men and women faced adversity on and off the field, but they persevered to pave the way for generations of players to come.
Don’t miss this exhibition! Make plans to visit! And help us spread the word by sharing this announcement with your family and friends. We’ll see you soon!
Special thanks to American Tobacco Campus for supporting this exhibition.
Image: Darryl Matthews, “Francis Oliver Matthews,” 2021, © Darryl Matthews, image courtesy of Drinking Gourd Gallery

JADE: Earth Song April 23, 2022 - May 31, 2022

Pictured Artwork: Orange Sunset by Jade

Drinking Gourd Gallery respectfully acknowledges that our artist collective is on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Skaruhreh/Tuscarora and Occaneechi and Sappony peoples. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present and future, and we are grateful that Indigenous communities remain at the forefront of movements to protect the Earth.

JADE: Earth Song is a solo exhibition by North Carolina-based teen artist Jade. For this new body of work, Jade expands our understanding of light, space and time while highlighting our decreasing landscape. Her subjects of trees, lakes, and birds remind us that uninterrupted harmony and balance is possible.


Darryl Matthews: Black Diamond  June 19, 2021 - September 25, 2021

Pictured Artwork: Cool Papa Bell by Darryl Matthews

Darryl Matthews: Black Diamond is a solo exhibition featuring works by artist Darryl Matthews who is the son of late Negro Leagues player Francis Oliver Matthews. The exhibition provides an intimate view of the Negro Leagues history through a collection of works featuring players such as Oscar Charleston, Satchel Paige, James Thomas “Cool Papa” Bell, Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, Francis Oliver Matthews, Jackie Robinson, and female players Toni Stone, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, and Connie Morgan. The memorabilia in the exhibition focuses primarily on Francis Oliver Matthews and captures the Negro Leagues as they were—through the games, players, and places. In December 2020, Major League Baseball (MLB) recognized the Negro Leagues as Major Leaguers. All 3,400 players from 1920 to 1948 were elevated to MLB status—100 years after the start of the Negro Leagues. The pronouncement is significant for a group of legends who broke new ground and paved the way for future generations. The Darryl Matthews: Black Diamond exhibition celebrates these legends and all that they accomplished and symbolized.  


08/12/2021, 7:30 p.m. What's that Sound? Thomas Taylor performs selections from the Negro Leagues era as a part of Drinking Gourd Gallery's Art Talks Concert series. There is no charge to attend. (This event has passed.)

North Carolina-based Drummer, Thomas Taylor has spent his life discovering the drums, rhythms, and music from all walks of life. Brought up in the churches of North Carolina, Thomas came to learn the importance of "Supporting the music" from behind the drum set. He studied classical percussion and music education at the University of North Carolina Greensboro where he earned his Bachelors ('91) and Masters ('10) degrees.

Thomas learned the importance of "Swing" playing gigs across the US in the early 1990s. After graduating from college, Thomas began teaching percussion, music, and jazz at community music schools and universities in North Carolina. He continues to teach at North Carolina Central University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro.

Thomas spent 10 years working, playing, and teaching with world-renowned jazz educator Jamey Aebersold. This opportunity allowed him to meet and perform with some of the world’s most important and influential jazz musicians. He continues to play with some of the international jazz community’s most loved and respected artists. Thomas has shared the stage with Terell Stafford, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Joe Chambers, Hubert Laws, Grady Tate, Jim Snidero, Corey Christiansen, Dan Hearle, Percy Heath, Cedar Walton, Vanessa Rubin, and so many others over the last 25+ years.

Thomas has performed and taught around the world. He has spread his message of swing on the continents of North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. You can find Thomas performing on the east coast with his drummer-led groups performing his original music. You can also hear him performing with regional, national, and international artists. For more information, visit www.Thomasdrum.com

06/19/2021, 7:30 p.m. The View from the Diamond: In conjunction with our opening night celebration, Negro Leagues player Willie Sellars recalls his days of playing with the Indianapolis Clowns. (This event has passed.)

06/20/2021, 4:00 p.m. Remembering Negro Leagues Player Francis Oliver Matthews: Artist Darryl Matthews and his sister Charmaine Matthews share memories of their father Francis Oliver Matthews who played with the Newark Eagles. (This event has passed.)

07/17/2021, 7:30 p.m. What's that Sound? Lillian Park performs selections from the Negro Leagues era as a part of Drinking Gourd Gallery's Art Talks Concert series. Register in advance to attend this concert. There is no charge to attend. (This event has passed.)

Lillian Park is a rising senior at North Carolina Central University, pursuing a degree in both Jazz Studies and Music Education, and is scheduled to graduate in May 2022. She loves performing and composing in the Jazz, R&B, and Soul category, but is also passionate about educating the next generation on the traditions and technique of music. Lillian’s passion for music started in classical and jazz piano, but she realized her love for singing and started seriously studying voice in her sophomore year of college. After graduation, Lillian plans to attend graduate school for composition and arranging. 


There are a number of organizations engaged in work to preserve the history of Negro Leagues Baseball. As a part of the Black Diamond exhibition, we have compiled a list of some of these organizations. Our list is not complete or exhaustive, but it is a starting point for learning more about the Negro Leagues. If you would like to support the mission of any of these organizations through monetary or in-kind donations, please reach out to them directly. 

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Yesterday's Negro Leagues Baseball Players

Newark Public Library

Buck Leonard Association for Sports and Human Enrichment

Satchel Paige Foundation

Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum

Josh Gibson Foundation

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Seamheads Negro League Database

Major League Baseball

Society for American Baseball Research (SABR)

Center for Negro League Baseball Research

Negro Leagues Baseball Grave Marker Project (Part of the Negro Leagues Committee of SABR)

A special thank you to Bob Kendrick and Dr. Raymond Doswell of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, and author, historian and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum co-founder Larry Lester for their kindness and encouragement as we have worked to assemble this exhibition. 

 *In 2022, Darryl Matthews was commissioned by the Buck Leonard Association to create seven original color paintings of baseball players Martín Dihigo, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Buck O’Neil, Tony Perez, Joe Staton and Ben Taylor. These paintings are now on permanent display in the Buck Leonard First Baseman's Hall of Fame located at the Imperial Centre for the Arts & Sciences in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. 


Collective Voices  December 1, 2020 - January 30, 2021

Pictured Artwork (top to bottom): Mama, I Went to a Rally Today, But They Called it a Riot by Carol Torian; Godfather of Soul by Darryl Matthews and Aloha by Shelvy Ramsey

Collective Voices, is a gathering of works by five contemporary African-American artists. The works represent a variety of styles and thematic interests, with each piece telling a story from the artist's unique perspective. The exhibit features acrylics, watercolor, digital and limited edition prints from Darryl Matthews, Corliss R. Owen, Shelvy Ramsey, Carol Torian, and youth artist Jade. 


What’s New?: INTRODUCING CORLISS R. OWEN. A “tiny desktop” exhibit of paintings created by folk artist Corliss R. Owen. This retrospective look at the artist’s work celebrates the stories of everyday life. Opens July 22, 2018.