Alumni celebrate FAMU Day with rare collection of black art in West Palm

Florida A&M University alumni Bernard and Shirley Kinsey will host a black art exhibit for FAMU Alumni Day in West Palm. The display will be in Norton Museum of Art on April 19 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The showcase, “In the Hands of African American Collectors: The Personal Treasurers of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey,” will provide guests with rare collections the Kinseys have been collecting for almost 30 years.

Historical artifacts such as documents, paintings and sculptures reflect significant time periods in black history including slavery and the Black Renaissance.

After appearing in Chicago, Cincinnati and Los Angeles, the tour has made its way to West Palm Beach.

“It’s been on tour for almost two years,” Mr. Kinsey said.

Currently residing in California, Mr. Kinsey said he is thrilled the art display will finally take place in his hometown and near his alma mater, FAMU.

“This is the closest it’s come to Tallahassee,” he said.

Actively involved in collecting art depicting black history, the Kinseys are also actively involved with the their alma mater.

The Kinseys bought the first Apple computer for the Marching 100 as well as the Yamaha percussions the band is using now. Computers have also been contributed to the math department and ROTC on behalf of the married couple.

“God has blessed us, so we always said we have to share what we do with others,” Mr. Kinsey said.

As a former member of the Marching 100, Mr. Kinsey has continued a relationship with the band. Music department Director Julian White and 40 members of the Marching 100 will attend the art exhibit.

“I’m really just elated because Bernard and Shirley Kinsey are personal friends of mine…Bernard and I played in the band together,” White said.

The members of the band will play at the formal presentation of the exhibit and the reception.

“It’s a great art collection,” White said. “We’re honored to be playing.”

The Kinseys have not only established a relationship with students at FAMU, but they are helping recent high school grads get into college.

Mrs. Kinsey said people should be serious about their life and share blessings.

Last month, the Kinseys hosted an annual scholarship dinner that President James Ammons attended. $60,000 was raised for the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Scholarship Foundation.

The art exhibit, free to the public, can help people learn and become more appreciative of black history, Mr. Kinsey said.

The following events will take place during the showcase: conversation with the Kinseys at 3 p.m.; tour of the exhibit at 4 p.m.; and private reception for FAMU alumni at 5 p.m.

For more information on “In the Hands of African American Collectors: The Personal Treasures of Bernard and Shirley Kinsey” visit