Pioneer Award Dinner honors Rep. Cloves Campbell Jr.

February 5, 2010

Arizona Representative Cloves Campbell Jr. will be honored as the recipient of the Pioneer Award at a dinner at Arizona State University’s West campus on Feb. 27.  The Pioneer Award Dinner is the final event on a calendar of activities celebrating Black History Month at the campus and will take place at 6 p.m., in the University Center Building (UCB), La Sala ballroom.

The award recognizes individuals or families that have made a long-term commitment to the quality of lives of African Americans. Download Full Image

“Representative Campbell is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious award,” said Duku Anokye, an associate professor in the Division of Humanities, Arts and Cultural Studies in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. 

“He is an actively engaged member of a prominent African American family and has given more than 25 years of his own life in service to the community through his newspaper, The Arizona Informant, and as a representative of Arizona’s 16th District.”

Campbell Jr. is the son of the late Cloves Campbell, the state’s first black senator and founder of The Arizona Informant, the only African-American-owned weekly in Arizona. Now the board chairman and co-publisher of the paper, Campbell Jr. was elected to the Arizona State House of Representatives in 2006 and currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee and the Sub-Committee on Library and Archives.

In the community, the younger Campbell has been a dynamo. He sits on several boards, including Governor’s African American Advisory Board, Attorney General’s African American Advisory Board, Black Theater Troupe Board, Salvation Army Advisory Board, West Coast Black Publishers Board, Tanner Chapel A.M.E. Church Board of Trustees, and the 100 Black Men of Phoenix.  He is a life member of the NAACP.

“What stands out when you meet Representative Campbell is his dedication,” says Anokye, who has been an integral part of the West campus Black History Month committee for years.  “His commitment, his faith, his devotion to family and the ongoing growth and development of African American social, cultural, political and historical concerns is an incentive for all of us to do more, do better, and to give back.

“Our Pioneer Award honorees, past and present, are living examples of what it means to live a dedicated and meaningful life.”

In addition to recognition of Campbell Jr. and a documentary commemorating his service, the Pioneer Award Dinner will feature an African processional and a special performance by the Asase Yaa African American Dance Theatre, an award-winning and internationally travelled ensemble of musicians, dancers and singers with training in various disciplines.

Other upcoming West campus events on the Black History Month calendar are the Poetry Jam on Feb. 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Kiva Auditorium ($5 admission, students $3) and the African Master Dance Workshop on Feb. 27 at 10 a.m. in La Sala.

ASU’s West campus is located at 4701 West Thunderbird Road in Phoenix.  More information about Black History Month events is available by calling 602-543-5306. RSVP at WestEvents">">


Steve Des Georges

director strategic marketing and communication, Enterprise Marketing Hub


Traditional clay collides with contemporary culture in exhibition

February 5, 2010

The ASU Art Museum presents San Francisco-based artist Wanxin Zhang’s exhibition, Wanxin Zhang: A Ten Year Survey,  running now through May 1. The exhibition features monumental figures in clay that are a marriage of historical Asian references with contemporary culture.

Inspired by the soldiers of the Qin Terra-cotta Army unearthed in Xian, China, in 1974, Zhang’s large-scale terra-cotta figures cross over from history into today’s culture. His works are marked by a collision of cultures. He draws manner of dress, hair fashion and calligraphy from Chinese culture. Zhang then combines American peculiarities as ironic twists, such as a Mickey Mouse hat, basketball, skateboard, or an ordinary tourist’s camera, which dangles off the shoulders of a figure reeking of 2,000 years of history. Download Full Image

“Many years ago, I was standing in front of the Qin’s Terra-cotta Army in the museum in Xian. As I faced thousands of armed soldiers underground, I was shocked," Zhang says. “I silently asked myself: Who were they? Where did they come from? Why are they standing here? Even though many years had passed, the first impression I received of the pieces is still in my mind. I anticipate that my works of art can raise the same questions for the audience.”

Chinese-born artist Wanxin Zhang grew up during the restrictive political climate of Chairman Mao’s Cultural Revolution but was drawn to American culture, wanting to see paintings and sculptures that were known to him only through books. An accomplished artist with works already in China’s National Fine Arts Museum, Zhang eventually settled in San Francisco, a city rich in diversity with an established Chinese community. There, he encountered the Bay Area ceramic art scene, to which he felt an immediate affinity. Not only did he work with Peter Voulkos at the artist’s Oakland foundry, but he had first-hand contact with many of the innovative Bay Area Funk artists.

Zhang is indicative of China’s new emerging consciousness: respectful of tradition, sympathetic to intellectual curiosity. Zhang seeks to regain the sanctity of the individual.

ASU Art Museum will be celebrating the opening of this exhibition at the Spring Opening Reception, 7-9 p.m., Feb. 19. The reception is free and open to everyone. Refreshments for the reception are sponsored by Four Peaks Brewing Co.

Organized by the ASU Art Museum’s Ceramics Research Center, Wanxin Zhang: A Ten Year Survey is made possible by the ceramic leaders at ASU and the Joseph Dung Ceramic Initiative, in cooperation with the Udinotti Gallery, Scottsdale, Ariz., Mindy Solomon Gallery, St. Petersburg, Fla., and the Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, Fla.

ASU Art Museum is free and open to the public. Museum hours are Tuesdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. during the academic semesters, and Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The museum is closed Sunday and Monday, but offers additional educator hours by appointment on Mondays and before 11 a.m., Tuesday-Thursday.