Fostering art appreciation

BMA's Joshua Johnson Council offers outreach to African-Americans



LEROY COMEGYS REMEMBERS GROWING UP IN Baltimore during the 1940s and '50s in a house filled with music and art: his mom's piano playing, his dad listening to jazz recordings, and the paintings and drawings his parents hung on the walls of their home -- among them sketches of black people by American artist Reginald Marsh for his famous painting of New York's Coney Island Beach.

Those early experiences, which sparked a lifelong love of art, help explain why Comegys, 62, is so enthusiastic today about sharing his passion with others. As chairman of the Baltimore Museum of Art's Joshua Johnson Council, which works to increase awareness of African-American art and artists at the museum, Comegys wants to see Baltimore become as well-known for its African-American art as for its restaurants, clubs and late-night jazz scene.

INFORMATION / / Any member of the Baltimore Museum of Art can join the Joshua Johnson Council by filling out an application form and paying an additional fee of $25. The group meets once a month at the museum to discuss art and community outreach programs and it organizes at least two trips a year to exhibitions in New York and the Mid-Atlantic region. Call 443-573-1833 or go to

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