African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County
Community Opening of Sankofa: The Art and Legacy of Jon Onye Lockard
Jon Lockard Foundation website
Jon Onye Lockard (1/25/1932 - 3/25/2015) was a visionary looking forward with a vast knowledge of the past. His life exemplified the West African proverb Sankofa - “It is not wrong to go back for that which you have forgotten.” There is wisdom in learning from the past and one’s roots, to ensure a strong future moving forward. This exhibit features a
collection of his works and historical artifacts that speak with an uncommon eloquence, vibrancy and enlightenment.
The relevance of Lockard’s work and life experiences to today’s world and current events, illuminate his vision even more. At the time of his death, he was completing a series of books for students, emerging artists and art appreciators encompassing more than 50 years of insights in the arts. This exhibit celebrates the art, life and legacy of a man whose connection to the African Diaspora, his students and the community exemplifies the principle of Sankofa.Visitors will experience the artistic evolution of Black history and culture through the eyes of a visionary – John Onye Lockard.
About the Artist Born in Detroit, Jon Onye Lockard was a powerful and awe-inspiring artist, muralist, master painter, educator, historian and story teller. His works may be found in many collections nationally and internationally. Some of Lockard’s murals and portraits are at Wayne State University, University of Michigan, Central State University and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.
He was a professor emeritus from Washtenaw Community College where he taught life drawing and portraiture for over 40 years. He was also a lecturer and founding faculty member of the Department of African American & African Studies at the UM.
With the principle of Sankofa as a guide, the Jon Onye Lockard Foundation was established to support African American culture through the visual arts and an inter-generational exchange of ideas.
Expressions of Gratitude and Appreciation
"Sankofa:The Art and Legacy of Jon Onye Lockard" and “Expressions of Untold Stories” was open from January 30-August 14, 2022. The Museum is grateful to the Jon Onye Lockard Foundation for their loan of the paintings, photographs, books and artifacts for the exhibit - especially Leslie Kamil, Dr. James P. Lee and Bamidele Agbasegbe Demerson. We are grateful for the Huron High School students who created a pop-up exhibit inspired by stories of the Great Migration and the art of Jon Lockard, that was up from June-August. This collaboration was made possible by their teachers Anthony Stewart and Kimberly Wright. A very special thanks to our exhibit sponsor BEAM - Black Employee Association at the University of Michigan. We also appreciate the many hundreds who came to see the exhibits and supporting the artists and the Museum. The next exhibit "The Great Migration: An Intergenerational Dialogue" opens October 9, 2022.