VANCOUVER, Wash. — In celebration of February as Black History Month, a program and gallery reception is planned for Feb. 13 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Washington State University Vancouver.

DaVerne Bell will speak about “Living the American Dream,” discussing how far we’ve come in areas of education, housing careers and family and how far we have to go in some areas, said Angela Guess Westbrooks, diversity coordinator at WSU Vancouver. The talk is set for the Student Services Building, Room 130.

Bell oversees Vancouver Public Schools’ Affirmative Action, multicultural issues and the Native American Program. After Bell’s short program, a gallery reception will take place in the Student Services Building gallery among the featured lithographs of pastel paintings by African-American artist Brenda Joysmith.

A graduate of the School of Arts Institute of Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Fine Arts program, Joysmith has held solo and group exhibitions across the nation. Her paintings celebrate the everyday lives of African-Americans and have won a number of awards and honors including an Arts and Culture Award from the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Pennsylvania Chapter, the Delta Image Award from San Francisco, and participation in the U.S. Department of State’s Art in Embassies Program.

Joysmith owns a gallery opened in 1980 which serves more than 1,000 galleries and art distributors. Her works have also been featured on the sets of many television shows and movies including “The Cosby Show,” “A Different World,” “Philadelphia,” “Lethal Weapon 3” and “The Preacher’s Wife.”

To view Joysmith’s pieces and background online, visit

The gallery exhibit is free and open to the public during campus building hours, 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, and will remain on display through March.

The reception, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Associated Students of WSU Vancouver and Human Resources and Diversity.

Gallery exhibits at WSU Vancouver are coordinated by the Office of Campus Advancement and updated each semester. For more information about the gallery, call 360/546-9600.