On February 28, Turkish Heritage Organization (THO) and Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) organized an art exhibition and reception on “African American-Turkish Connections Through the Arts” as part of African American History Month.
The exhibit featured 12 paintings by Turkish-American artist Hulis Mavruk, whose work features Black individuals and their cultures. The artist was in attendance to discuss his work.
35 Great Ladies, 1989 (by Hulis Mavruk)
The exhibit also included profiles of James Baldwin, a gay African American activist and writer who spent time in Turkey working on his novels and essays, and Ahmet Ertegun, a son of the Republic of Turkey’s first ambassador to the U.S., who co-founded Atlantic Records and spent his career promoting African American musicians and fighting for racial equality.
At the exhibition, THO and TCA were very honored to welcome Karen Thorsen, who wrote, produced, and directed the feature-length documentary “James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket.” The documentary was a co-production with PBS/American Masters and was honored at film festivals in over two-dozen countries, including festivals in Sundance, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.
THO and TCA leadership and staff members with Karen Thorsen (middle) and Hulis Mavruk (third from right).
The event was attended by congressional staff, civil society and NGO representatives, academics, staff of foreign embassies, and representatives of the local African American and Turkish American communities.
At the event, THO and TCA were happy to host Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), a former co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkey Relations and Turkish Americans.
From left to right: THO President Ali Cinar, Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, Hulis Mavruk, and TCA President Lincoln McCurdy
Learn more about Hulis Mavruk, James Baldwin, and Ahmet Ertegun in the exhibition catalog, which also includes all 12 paintings displayed during the event.