Allen 'Big Al' Carter
Allen Dester Carter
|Died||December 18, 2008(aged 61)|
|Education||Columbus College of Art and Design|
When profiled by The Washington Post Magazine in May 2006, Carter estimated that he had 20,000 works of art—"from intricate etchings to enormous day-glo paintings"—in the 900-square-foot space where he lived.
Carter received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio in 1972, and returned to Washington to do post-graduate work and teach at American University.  In 1995 he received an Honorary Master of Fine Arts degree, also from the Columbus College of Art and Design .
During his life Carter exhibited widely in galleries and museums - usually around the Mid Atlantic - including in exhibitions with major African American artists, including painter and collage artist Romare Bearden. He also exhibited at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Freer Gallery of Art, both in Washington, D.C, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, The Portsmouth Museum in Virginia, and the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, NC, and the Alexandria Black History Museum in Alexandria, VA. Soon after his death, a retrospective of his works was staged at Vanderbilt University's Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy. In 2015, 80 of his paintings, sculptures, drawings, and assemblages were exhibited at the Arizona State University Art Museum.
Carter's artworks are in permanent collections at the Smithsonian Museum and the Corcoran Gallery of Art, both in Washington, DC. He also created public murals in Roanoke, VA, Washington, DC, Asheville, NC, Raleigh, NC, and Winston-Salem, NC.
Carter's work attracted a lot of critical acclaim during his career, and yet he "did not allow his artwork to be shown in the country's art capital, New York, where he could have found greater renown and remuneration."
"Carter's art is protean, large-hearted, never prissy," Washington Post critic Paul Richard wrote of a 1985 exhibition at a local gallery. "Warmth pours from the walls. To walk into the gallery is to accept Big Al's embrace."
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- Hadley, Faye (January 18, 2019). "1 Creative Homage". Modern Luxury Magazine. Retrieved 2019-01-29.
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