Through this distillation of their collecting priorities the Artis’s have brought together works that foreground minority stories and artists, predominantly African American. It is the Artis’s goal to use their collection as a tool to encourage people not only to engage with African American Art, but to become collectors themselves, of artwork that tells the stories that move them.
Anthony Artis had to be led to his love of art. In the mid-2000s, Artis was a former stockbroker working as the Program Officer at The Ruth Mott Foundation
in his home of Flint, Michigan, when the curator of The Mott-Warsh Collection
, Camille Ann Brewer, told him he could choose art from the collection for the office. Artis wasn’t particularly interested, so he let Brewer choose for him. She hung pieces by Elizabeth Catlett, Charles White, and Jacob Lawrence. Artis looked at the Lawrence and had the classic art novice reaction: he thought “my kid could make that.”