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Kentucky Gentleman Billy Colbert, Mixed media on canvas

The African American Museum, Dallas presents “Best in Show – Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition,” featuring a selection of award-winning works from 1976-2021. Free and open to the public, the exhibition is on view now through Dec. 1, 2022, at the African American Museum, located in historic Fair Park at 3536 Grand Ave., Dallas, Texas, 75210.

This year’s “Best in Show” exhibition consists of 24 works by artists including Sedrick Huckaby (Texas), Charles Humes, Jr. (Fla.), Jeremy Biggers (Texas), Billy Colbert (Va.), Asia Youngs-Bailey (Texas) and Reginald Gammon (N.M.). Reflecting Black American conditions and traditions, the exhibition features themes addressing politics, family values, identity and religion. The paintings, drawings and mixed media are part of the permanent collections at the African American Museum, Dallas.

The history of this initiative began in 1976 when the African American Museum, Dallas initiated the Southwest Black Art Competition and Exhibition. The purpose of the juried competition and exhibition stemmed from the Museum’s need to build a distinguished art collection and to provide Black artists in the region a venue to showcase their work.

Over the years, the Southwest Black Art Competition and Exhibition attracted the attention of artists beyond its geographical boundaries. In 1999, the Museum’s board renamed the biennial competition to the “Carroll Harris Simms National Black Art Competition and Exhibition” in honor of Carroll Harris Simms’ outstanding contributions to art and art education.

Simms (1924-2010) was a master sculptor and ceramist, painter, jeweler and author. He was a distinguished professor and educator who helped shape Texas Southern University’s art department as well as the careers of many acclaimed Texas artists.

CALL TO ACTION – Museum accepting submissions for 2022 competition through Oct. 31

The African American Museum is accepting artist entries for the 2022 competition now through Oct. 31. Artists may submit their entries here (or go to and search '”Carroll Harris Simms.”) For more information, please email Gerald Leavell, Helen Giddings Fellow, African American Museum, at The winning selections will be made by Nov. 13 and will be featured in the exhibition.

Season sponsors of the African American Museum, Dallas, are Atmos, Eugene McDermott Foundation, Fair Park First and Spectra Venue Management, Friendship West Baptist Church, Oncor, State Fair of Texas, and the City of Dallas’ Office of Arts and Culture.

The African American Museum is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Free self-parking is available in nearby lots.

For more information, go to or call 214-565-9026 ext. 312.

About Carroll Harris Simms. Carroll Harris Simms Carroll Harris Simms was the chairman of the Art Department at Texas Southern University. In 1950, Simms joined the faculty of Texas Southern University (formerly Texas State University for Negroes) and became the co-founder of the Art Department.  He served as Professor of Art until 1987. Professor Simms developed a unique program of ceramics and sculpture at the University.

About the African American Museum, Dallas. The African American Museum, Dallas was founded in 1974 as a part of Bishop College. The Museum has operated independently since 1979. For more than 40 years, the African American Museum has stood as a cultural beacon in Dallas and the Southwestern United States. Located in Dallas’ historic Fair Park, the African American Museum is the only museum in the Southwestern United States devoted to the collection, preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials that relate to the African American experience. The African American Museum incorporates a wide variety of visual art forms and historical documents that portray the African American experience in the United States, Southwest, and Dallas. The Museum has a small, but rich collection of African art, African American fine art and one of the largest African American folk-art collections in the United States. Learn more at