Aissatou is a collector of contemporary visual art by African American women. As a former newspaper reporter for the Tampa Tribune, she contributed art reviews for the main daily newspaper. After arriving in San Antonio, Aissatou began helping favorite artists show their work locally, including facilitating exhibitions at StoneMetal Press Printing Studio for Valerie Maynard, MacArthur “Genius” Fellow, John T. Scott, Steve Prince and Deborah
Roberts. In 2014, she and husband Stewart Blanton mounted their first exhibition entitled “Her America: A Collection of Works by AfricanAmerican Female Visual Artist” at the Carver Cultural Community Center, which brought internationally known artist and art historian Dr. Amalia Amaki to San Antonio. In 2015, Aissatou curated “Familiar Institutions: B(l)ack Talk” that honored award-winning poet Khadijah Queen and was shown at Gemini Ink and Southwest School of Art (pop up exhibit). In 2017, she and Stewart partnered with SAEAS to begin offering the Abaraka Award, a biennial grant to support visual arts, arts research and curatorial projects by African-American women artists/art professionals. For more information
on the Abaraka Award, go to SidimeBlantonFund.org
“I think my interest in art has been screaming to come out since my childhood.” “I was born in Grenada, Mississippi to a wonderful set of parents who taught me how to love, respect and appreciate all things created by God and man.” Levorn has always been captivated by humanmade creations: things that are expressions of life, love, beauty and nature. She credits her husband, Paul Hurd, as the influential force in developing her real appreciation of art with his life like expressions of art. She once told him, when looking at one of his creations, that she thought it was her old boyfriend. Even though she is not an artist, there is a creative side to her: she loves decorating with plants. Levorn is an active volunteer who enjoys using her skills whenever and wherever she can. She holds a Masters Degree in Public Management and is retired from Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services.
Dierdre, a retired advance practice registered nurse is from the East Coast (NY, NJ and VA). She is the owner and president of AMES High LLC, where continuing education and life coaching services are offered. She also teaches courses for the Texas Board of Nursing. Dierdre volunteers a
portion of her time to community, church and professional organizations. She loves to travel.
Yolanda Miller, a fifth generation San Antonian, is the owner of Bygonia, specializing in providing venues for artists to exhibit and sell their work and retailing unique finds from her own international travel. Yolanda is the Deputy Procurement Officer for a local government. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and spends much of her spare time in community service, planning and chairing luncheons and other special events in Austin and San Antonio. Yolanda collects art both from her travels and locally.