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A Retrospective of the Last 25 Years

Eugene Vango
January 2024

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday 11am-5pm

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Art, to me, is an intellectual pursuit and a source of the most supreme creative pleasure. There is something magical about color and light that prompts an artist to continuously discover the enormous dynamic possibilities of these elements that goes beyond their traditional use in interpreting physical reality.

My inspiration at this time comes from my experience with African art and culture. The Africans have a rich tradition when it comes to the use of color for practical and ceremonial purposes. I especially enjoy looking at African fabric designs which have an incredible balance of cool and warm colors. This is a rich heritage that provided the foundations for modern art. Traditionally abstract art has not been looked upon favorably by the Black community, but very few people

realize that abstract art has been practiced by Africans for centuries before modern art was embraced by Europeans.

Since my knowledge of African art and culture has been expanded, I am beginning to feel comfortable expressing myself in this style. Other influences over the years have been the Abstract Expressionists and the artists of the California School of Colorists. I started out with oils in the late sixties but as of the seventies, I’ve been painting with acrylic. And, now I have expanded into the field of digital art.


Eugene R. Vango was born in Norfolk, Virginia and received his BS degree in Art Education from Virginia State University. In 1966, Vango went on to hold positions as Art Teacher in the Atlanta and the Richmond Public Schools before going on to Penn. State University to study for the Master of Fine Arts, which he received in 1972. He did further study for five summers at the Art Student League of New York.


In 1986, he was appointed head of the Department of Art and Design. During his tenure there, he developed the gallery program, obtained accreditation from The National Association of the Schools of Art and Design, improved staff credentials and increased the quality of the annual student shows by selecting well-known artists and educators to jury the shows. He has participated in over 30 one-person shows and 60 group shows and won numerous Best-in-Shows Ribbons on the state and national levels. He served as an associate curator for Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit for the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of VA, Inc. in Richmond, VA. He juried many major shows around Virginia including ArtFest, Fort Clifton, and AFRAM Art Exhibit of AF FEST in Norfolk, VA.


Mr. Vango is now retired and continues to participate in the arts as exhibitor, curator, and musician. In 2011 he won a spot in the annual Black Creativity exhibition at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry and received best in painting for one of the two paintings that made the show. He was also accepted for the 2012 show. Since his retirement he has had many one-person shows in the Richmond and Petersburg area. He has also participated in a number of group shows as a result of his membership in a number of art organizations in DC and the Richmond area.


Scholastically, he has presented a number of papers at three of the National Conferences of the National Association of African American Studies. He was a member of the teams that reaffirmed the accreditations for Savannah College of Art and Design, Barton College in North Carolina, and Valdosta State University in Georgia.

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