Avis Collins Robinson’s work, both abstract and figurative, is fundamentally about African American history, culture and tradition.
Born in Baltimore, Robinson was educated at the University of Maryland and Harvard University. Her career as an artist was launched when her mixed-media portrait of Abraham Lincoln was selected, after a nationwide search, as the single iconic image of the greatest American president to be permanently installed in the newly renovated entrance lobby of Ford’s Theatre in Washington, the National Historic Site where Lincoln was slain.
In 2016, along with fellow artists such as Jeff Koons, Joel Shapiro and Carrie Mae Weems, she was named to the Foundation for Art and Preservation in Embassies’ “30 for 30” list of leading artists in the United States. Her large and majestic fabric piece, Piano Keys, is permanently installed in the soaring lobby of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. Funky Flag, another fabric work, hangs at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. Her monumental painting of African American workmen laying brickwork for a building at Claflin University, a historically black university in Orangeburg, S.C., hangs in Claflin’s administration building.
In 2013 and 2017, she was given one-woman shows of both fabric works and figurative paintings by the Studios of Key West. Her painting of civil rights pioneer Vivian Malone as she integrated the University of Alabama has been shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Robinson has been represented by Craig F. Starr Gallery since 2020. Her debut exhibition will feature a selection of fiber works and is currently in development.