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Art and politics collide at African-American gallery in Bowie

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Published on: Wednesday, October 03, 2012

By Sarah Hainesworth

As Nov. 6 nears, the presidential candidates continue to increase fundraising efforts to assist with the cost of their campaigns.

Derrick and Jackie Thompson, owners of the Overdue Recognition Art Gallery in Bowie, decided to create their own fundraiser in support of the Obama campaign.

On Saturday, Sept. 22, Obama supporters gathered at Overdue Recognition Art Gallery for “I’m In,” a fundraiser devoted to the re-election of President Barack Obama.

The fun-filled evening featured wine, raffles, hors d’oeuvres, musical performances, door prizes and networking opportunities — but the overall goal was to get President Obama re-elected.

Overdue Recognition Art Gallery opened in 2004 and is the first African-American Art Gallery in Bowie.

“Black artists weren’t getting enough recognition,” said Derrick Thompson about his decision to open the gallery.

The Bowie gallery is home to artwork by artists such as Romare Bearden, Joseph Holston, Anthony Armstrong and many more.

“In this area alone, I have people whose art collections are worth more than their homes,” Thompson said.

Although the artwork at Overdue Recognition is appealing to the eye, it was a fundraising effort that filled the Bowie gallery.

“We believe in what Obama is saying,” Thompson said. “Obama does a lot that is not talked about. Obama works for small businesses. We like his message and what he represents. We want to support him and he definitely supports small businesses.”

In between browsing the artwork and networking, guest speakers rallied attendees to support the Obama campaign.

James Dula of J.A. Dula Consulting stressed the importance of voting and the rights Obama supports.

“We need people to come out in greater numbers right now,” Dula said. “We must get the president re-elected because we want health care for everyone. We want a president who represents all the people not just a select few.”

Susan Unger, Prince George’s County canvass lead for the Obama campaign, urged voters to devote their time to volunteering.

“Give a little bit more — I’m talking about your time. Make that personal commitment to spend your time. Our county is responsible for making Virginia dark blue. Make that commitment not only to yourself but to the president,” she said.

Janice Parker, an Obama supporter from Landover, attended the fundraising event.

“I just wanted to support Obama here in the second election,” she said. “He’s done a great job turning around the country. I know it takes time to rebuild, and he’s done a lot in four years compared to where we were eight years ago.”

All the hard work of putting together the event paid off — Overdue Recognition raised more than $5,000 for the Obama campaign.

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