BY JAMES HARPER
Anthony Armstrong of DeLand will be the first of many artists to be featured at the new Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Cultural and Educational Center.
Armstrong’s artwork will be on display at the center for the next month. The center will officially open Saturday, June 8, at 9 a.m. with a special grand-opening ceremony. It is located at 1000 Vine St.
The local artist has established himself as one of the foremost contemporary abstract painters on the art scene.
A dream come true
According to his website, Armstrong was encouraged to “make pictures” by his mother.
He grew up in segregated DeLand, the son of a migrant worker and a maid.
“The prospect of using my God-given talents in a professional artistic capacity seemed bleak. It has always been my desire to share those talents with others. Through hard work, academic training and painterly ambition, I have been blessed to achieve my life’s dream,” Armstrong said.
He noted that his artwork is dedicated to conveying the concerns, sentiments and beauty of African-Americans.
In the tradition of artists such as Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden, and Pablo Picasso, Armstrong interprets realism, cubism and Afro-centric iconography, according to the website.
His works are scheduled to be on display at the center until July 17.
Morning of activities
Daytona Beach Leisure Services Director Percy Williamson said the center, named after the city’s first Black mayor, will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be tours of the building, refreshments, activities and live entertainment.
The first Black mayor’s family members have been invited, including her brothers – Carlton and Donald Scarlett – both who still live in Daytona Beach.
Wanda Only, one of Scarlett-Golden’s granddaughters, who was named executor of the estate, is scheduled to participate in the program.
More to come
Williamson said that after the program, the community will have an opportunity to tour the new facility and meet some of the people who will oversee programs in the building. The center is tentatively scheduled to be open Monday through Saturday.
He said the city purposely scheduled the grand opening on a Saturday so more people in the community can attend the celebration.
The one-story building includes a courtyard in the center showcasing an open-air amphitheater.
There are plans for a library; a gym; small theater; reading center; studios for photography, computer animation and painting; spaces for art and dance classes; rooms to learn about ecology, zoology and biology; after-school programs and homework assistance; and a permanent historic exhibit featuring memorabilia celebrating Scarlett-Golden and the neighborhood.