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Reynold T. Decou

36.5 x 36 in. (92.71 x 91.44 cm)

Carl Joe Williams (New Orleans, LA, 1970 – ) Primary

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Acrylic on board
Credit Line: Commissioned by the Office of the President of Tulane University
Accession Number: 2020.2.2

Web Notes
Multimedia artist Carl Joe Williams is a New Orleans native who creates paintings, large scale installations and narrative-driven work that speaks to our collective human condition. His upcycled assemblages, vibrant color combinations and rhythmic geometric patterns echo African diasporic memory as well as natural systems. Transportive visual experiences are crafted through Williams’ use of reflective, kinetic, sonic and textured elements.

In this portrait, Williams honors Tulane University alumni Reynold T. Décou, the first African American undergraduate to earn a degree from the school. Décou is a two-time graduate from Tulane’s School of Arts and Sciences, earning his bachelor of science degree in 1967 and a bachelor’s degree in earth sciences in 1979. After graduation, Décou enjoyed a 40-year career as a petroleum geologist. He was honored by Tulane in November, 2019 with the naming and dedication of the The Décou-Labat Residence Hall.

This portrait was commissioned by Tulane University as part of the Tulane Trailblazers initiative, an aspect of the 2015 Presidential Commission on Race and Tulane Values. The goal of the commission is to make the university a more racially diverse, inclusive and supportive community.

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