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Hampton Roads Community News

Norfolk Links Host Annual A.B. Jackson Scholarship Ceremony


The Norfolk (VA) Chapter of Links Inc. sponsored its Annual A. B. Jackson Scholarship Ceremony on Friday, April 7th from 6-8 p.m., at NSU’s James Wise Gallery in the E.L. Hamm Fine Arts Building on the campus of Norfolk State University.

The late A.B. Jackson was born in New Haven, Connecticut, and earned both BFA and MFA degrees from Yale University. He moved to Norfolk, VA in 1956. In 1967, after teaching 10 years at Norfolk State University, he joined ODU as a full professor, becoming its first African American faculty member.

During the years he taught, Jackson also exhibited his art in shows in many local and neighboring areas. Jackson received significant attention in 1968, after several of his drawings were included in a Smithsonian Institution traveling art exhibition.

His series of paintings entitled, “The Porch People” depicts anonymous sitters on their poaches in Ghent, the district of Norfolk (VA), where he lived. Jackson died in 1981, at the age of 55. Jackson is represented in the permanent collections of museums across the country.

In 1971, The Norfolk (VA) Chapter of the Links, Incorporated hosted the first exhibition of A.B. Jackson’s artwork at Norfolk State University. As a result, community members generously gave their financial support and the A.B. Jackson Fine Arts Scholarship was established at Norfolk State University.

This year’s $1,000 fine arts scholarship recipient was rising senior, Christina Diggs-Rooks. The event featured an exhibition of artwork created by the scholarship recipient, a reception, and live music by the NSU Jazz Ensemble.

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