MOCADA honors Richard Beavers, one of NYC’s 50 most influential figures in art community

Richard Beavers
Photo courtesy: Richard Beavers

The Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MOCADA), New York City’s premier museum dedicated to addressing the social and political issues facing the African Diaspora, has honored Richard Beavers and other influencers of the art community at the official opening celebration of the Ubuntu Garden.

MOCADA has collaborated with architect and artist Kholisile Dhliwayo to create the “We Are” sculpture series that honors the work and legacy of people who offered inspiration through efforts to promote and support community and neighborhood development, education, the arts, and advocacy. 

“With the help of our community we identified real community heroes, changemakers who are the truest expression of Black Brooklyn then and now,” said MOCADA in a statement on Aug. 11. 

“I’m honored to be recognized by MOCADA for the work I do to support the community, promote the arts, and more specifically, the talented Black artists who far too often go unheralded,” said Beavers. 

“What I’ve found is there is a thirst for the breadth of our talents and the work of new artists who are not afraid to build on the foundation of those who came before them,” he added. “Art belongs to everyone and everyone should have access.” 

MOCADA said the sculpture series includes a bronzed image of Beavers, owner of Richard Beavers Gallery in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Richard Beavers Gallery, Soho. 

It will be part of a permanent installation in the Ubuntu Garden, MOCADA’s newest addition to the spaces available for the public to experience the richness and diversity of artists, and the beauties and challenges of the African Diaspora. 

MOCADA said Beavers is one of New York City’s few Black gallery owners, and possibly the only one, with multiple galleries in New York City, one of the art mecca’s in the United States. 

“I am indebted to the founders of Savacou Gallery, Clinton Hill Simply Art & Framing Gallery, Leroy Campbell Gallery and Dorsey’s Gallery, giants in the African-American art world who paved the way for people like me, without them there wouldn’t be a Richard Beavers Gallery,” Beavers said. 

MOCADA said Beavers’ work and support of the community go beyond the art world. 

It said he has long sponsored programming for young men to learn farming in local community gardens, financial and entrepreneurial workshops, children’s art classes and annual turkey giveaways and salon-style conversations about the state of New York City’s urban communities. 

“Beavers work in the community maintains a commitment to ensuring families build generational wealth and learn the value and importance of art,” MOCADA said.