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Art exhibit honors Happy Hill

By James Jackson
On September 29, 2010

More than 1,500 people have  visited Diggs Gallery since June 26 to view 16 artistic presentations including paintings, photographs and video documentation of Winston-Salem's oldest African-American community.

The "Pride and Dignity from the Hill" art exhibit was created by Diggs Gallery with the help of community members.

Available through Feb. 26, the exhibit offers a snapshot of the Happy Hill area as it was during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

"Pride and Dignity" extracts the most positive elements out of that community.

The exhibit features artwork done by many local artists, including Glen Johnson who lived in the community for 14 years.

"It was exciting to be able to paint and draw and express my memories," Johnson said in an interview with the Winston-Salem Journal.  

He said his experiences are invaluable to events such as these and allows people that may not be familiar with the area to see what he saw so many years ago.

Lining the perimeter of the gallery is an array of artwork that spans from sports memorabilia to life-sized figurines meant to portray a certain element of African-American culture. There are also religious mementos representing the popularity of spirituality in the African American community.

The exhibit shows the rich history of the Happy Hill community, serves as a visual reminder of how far it has come at the same time preserving the memories of everyone that grew up there.

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