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VONN SUMNER in “Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation” on view January – June 2021 at Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem Museum of Art

26 Oct

Wayne Thiebaud Influencer: A New Generation

The profound influence of Wayne Thiebaud on a new generation of artists is front and center in this celebration of the longtime UC Davis art professor’s centennial. Pairings explore how Thiebaud forecast the future of painting through his personal journey to find meaning and reinvention in the medium’s history in ways that are both current and timeless. Works by contemporary artists who have been inspired by Thiebaud as a fellow painter as well as those of former students reveal unexpected connections and sources of inspiration.

Curators: Rachel Teagle and Susie Kantor

An exhibition featuring
Andrea Bowers, Julie Bozzi (’74, MFA ’76), Christopher Brown (MFA ’76), Robert Colescott, Gene Cooper, Richard Crozier (MFA ’74), Fredric Hope, Alex Israel, Grace Munakata (’80, MFA ’85), Bruce Nauman (MA, ’66), Jason Stopa, Vonn Cummings Sumner (’98, MFA ’00), Ann Harrold Taylor (MFA ’85), Michael Tompkins (’81, MFA ’83), Clay Vorhes, Patricia Wall (’72), Jonas Wood and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

On view January 31–June 13, 2021

Available Artwork by VONN SUMNER

Morton Fine Art, 52 O St NW #302, Washington, DC 20001

(202) 628-2787 (text or call)

info@mortonfineart.com

mortonfineart.com

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston & Nathaniel Donnett’s installation “Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s)”

29 Jul

 

 

Nathaniel Donnett | Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s)

July 23, 2020 – August 31, 2020
CAMH presents Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s), a newly commissioned public art installation by Houston-based artist Nathaniel Donnett, as part of the Museum’s new Beyond CAMH initiative series.

The community-engaging work is located upon more than 120 feet of construction fencing surrounding the Museum’s front lawn during its ongoing capital campaign renovations. Initiated through a backpack exchange with the youth of Houston’s Third, Fourth, and Fifth Wards, the text- and object-based artwork acknowledges and reflects the importance of history, education, family, and visibility in these communities and Black American social life. The work will remain on view—day and night—through August 31, 2020.

Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s) sets an important precedent by including youth as an integral part of the public art process through direct collaboration with community organizations, including S.H.A.P.E. Community CenterChange Happens!Lindsay GaryJack Yates High School, and Kashmere Gardens Elementary. For Donnett, this project engages the youth’s Untitled image courtesy the artistsocial imagination by uplifting everyday objects as material for the artwork, and the exchange as a gesture of human kindness. The exchange seeks to inspire youth around the value of education, through the gift of a new backpack and by highlighting the inner resources and strength of Houston’s Black community. The multi-faceted nature of this artwork emphasizes the power of direct action and social exchange.

The artwork comprises a 120-foot pre-existing fence, upon which is printed imagined words and phrases common to the aforementioned neighborhoods, and a series of backpacks mounted on the fence. Some of the backpacks contain photographs taken by the artist and objects collected from these three neighborhoods, which reference Nkisi power figures of the Congo and the notion of being both present and not present at the same time. At night, the backpacks are illuminated with lights that continuously pulse in Morse code, the phrase “A Love Supreme” from the John Coltrane song “Acknowledgement,” an excerpt from a James Baldwin’s essay “The Uses of the Blues,” and a verse from the song “Mad” by singer-songwriter Solange.

While CAMH remains closed for construction and COVID-19 precautions, Donnett’s work provides a source of community-based art in keeping with the Museum’s mission to present extraordinary, thought-provoking arts programming and exhibitions to educate and inspire audiences nationally and internationally.

NATHANIEL DONNETT’s “Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s)” installation at Contemporary Art Museum Houston

24 Jul

ART & EXHIBITS
A Houston artist sends a coded message with his new work for CAMH
Nathaniel Donnett has filled the construction walls around the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston with backpacks that contain photographs, found objects and lights that blink in Morse code.

Molly Glentzer July 23, 2020

Updated: July 24, 2020, 11:19 am

A detail of Nathaniel Donnett’s “Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s),” a public artwork made with LED lights, photographs and the used backpacks of youth in Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards, installed along 120 feet of construction fencing around the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston  Photo: Andrew Buckler / Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

People passing by Contemporary Arts Museum Houston have an eyeful right now with Nathaniel Donnett’s engaging and challenging new public art installation.

“Acknowledgement: The Historic Polyrhythm of Being(s)” occupies 120 feet of construction fence around the building, which is being renovated.

During the day, a long, unbroken line of block letters may spin heads first. They’re a tight mashup of imagined words and phrases common to residents of the city’s Third, Fourth and Fifth Ward neighborhoods. You might have to study it a while to break them apart, but the string becomes a kind of stream-of-consciousness chant: “PSYCHOSLABACKNOWLEDGMAYNEHOLUPBLACKSPATIALISTIC.”

Dozens backpacks hung on the fence bookend the sign, glowing and blinking mysteriously at night. The lights convey a message too — in Morse code.

Donnett’s commission both dresses up the construction site and launches Beyond CAMH, a museum initiative to create community-based work that positions artists as change-makers in society. He gathered some of his materials by collaborating with youth from Jack Yates High School, Kashmere Gardens Elementary, the Re-Education Project, SHAPE Community Center and Change Happens! Through those schools and organizations, dozens of students from Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards traded in their old backpacks for new ones.

The exchanges took place outside the museum during some of this summer’s hottest days, when the temperature was at 100 degrees or more. Donnett, his team and the participants wore masks, and he sanitized all the backpacks as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

He filled the old backpacks with LED lights. Some also hold photographs taken by the artist and objects collected from the neighborhoods that reference Congolese Nkisi power figures and ideas about being simultaneously present and absent. Through Morse code, the LEDs pulse out culturally significant lyrics and text: The phrase “Love Supreme” from John Coltrane’s composition “Acknowledgement,” an excerpt from James Baldwin’s essay “The Uses of the Blues” and a verse from Solange’s song “Mad.”

All that may be useful information, but a viewer doesn’t have to decipher any of it to be pulled in. It’s kind of a shame there isn’t a bench across the street where people could just sit and contemplate it for a while. Although the constant, frenetic movement around the fence — cars, walkers and bikers coming and going wherever they are going — seems fitting.

‘Movement and displacement’
“Acknowledgement” is partly informed by the writer and philosopher Fred Moten’s ideas about “fugitive blackness.” African Americans have had to navigate their environment for centuries, since they first arrived in the U.S. as slaves, Donnett explains. “There’s always movement and displacement.”

The families of Third, Fourth and Fifth Wards have experienced gentrification, cultural erasure, income disparities and unjust state and municipal policies. Yet this is no victim’s wall. Donnett’s work expresses power in many forms — the power of direct action, social exchange, language, and the strength and resources of Houston’s Black community.

“It is about memory and history but also about collective exchange, and the use of a type of familiar language and transformation,” he says. “And lastly, everyday aesthetics and Black social life.” The word ‘Being(s)’ in the installation’s title is important, he adds, because “now is a time where people limit Blackness to one thing or another and not the multiple of a being.”

On HoustonChronicle.com: ‘Soul of a Nation’ at MFAH

Donnett is no stranger to works this complex. His 2008 installation at Project Row Houses incorporated a book exchange for Ryan Middle School, and he organized a 2015 project in Milwaukee that involved people of all ages. “Acknowledgement” is the first to reach across three neighborhoods, although he knows them well. Donnett grew up in Third Ward and has always had relatives in Fourth and Fifth Wards.

“Acknowledgement” is a piece of a larger pie, rolled into other work he is producing through a 2020 Dean’s Critical Practice Research Grant from Yale University, where he is a 2021 MFA candidate, and a 2020 Art and Social Justice Initiative Grant.

The Beyond CAMH initiative has another dimension, too.

A ‘vocal portrait’
Unrelated to Donnett’s piece, the museum has opened up a phone line to help create a Houston edition of Texas-born artist their native languages. Anyone can participate by calling 281-248-8730 or visiting camh.org/beyond. A separate time-lapse video to document the work’s evolution will feature people who participated during the project’s first 100 days (through Nov. 2).

Ekene Ijeoma’s national project “A Counting.” That one aims to gather a “vocal portrait” of the city and address the under-counting of marginalized communities in the U.S. census.

Ijeoma, who founded the group Poetic Justice at Boston’s MIT Media Lab, is gathering the voices of Houstonians as they count to 100 in “A Counting” is “a meditation on what a truly united country would sound like,” Ijeoma says. “Houston has reached majority-minority status ahead of the curve across the country.”

CAMH director Hesse McGraw hopes Beyond CAMH will help the museum reach new audiences, embrace “unexpected contexts” and directly impact civic life. While the museum’s doors remain closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, “we’ve had time to think,” he says.

“To be quarantined and disconnected from daily, in-person contact with artists and audience is disorienting for a museum that exists solely for that purpose. Yet … we’re working to reimagine the ethic and practice of a more porous museum — one that spills onto the street, engages in long-term collaborations with artists, meets audiences where they are and serves our communities’ most urgent needs.”

molly.glentzer@chron.com

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ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY Featured in the James Renwick Alliance Craft Quarterly, Winter 2018!

6 Feb

Artist ROSEMARY FEIT COVEY is featured in the upcoming print and online editions of the Winter 2018 issue of the James Renwick Alliance Craft Quarterly. You can get a sneak peek below. To see available work by Rosemary, please visit our website or stop in and see us at the gallery!

Rosemary Renwick 1 web

Rosemary Renwick 2 web

Rosemary Renwick 3 web

Rosemary Renwick 4 web

Art & Culture Magazine Houston features artist NATHANIEL DONNETT

7 Dec

We are thrilled to share news that Houston, TX based artist Nathaniel Donnett has been featured in this month’s Art & Culture Magazine Houston in regards to his current solo exhibition ‘In One Form or Another; Verse One’ on view at Houston’s Art League through January 20th.  This exhibition is funded by grants from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.

IMAGE AND TEXT IN TX CULT 2018 SMALL

“HOUSTON—For Nathaniel Donnett, whose work finds expression in a wide range of modes, the studio has a way of expanding beyond the walls of his art-making space into the larger world. For In One Form or Another; Verse One, his exhibition at Houston’s Art League on view through Jan. 20, Donnett is tying his own work to a long history of vibrant protest movements created by African Americans, while slyly referencing geometric abstraction.”  ~ Arts & Culture Magazine

LEONORA DRAPER_web

In other exciting news The Ulrich Museum in Witchita, Kansas has acquired an original work by Donnett for their collection titled ‘Leonora Draper’.  The piece, pictured above, incorporates human and synthetic hair, and graphite on paper!

You can find images of available work by Nathaniel Donnett on our website, and please contact the gallery for any additional details or inquiries!

 

VICTOR EKPUK Mention in The Herald Sun

13 Jul
JULY 12, 2017 6:00 AM

Long-neglected art of Africa assumes its rightful place of honor at museum

Video: VICTOR EKPUK Installation of Mural at North Carolina Museum of Art!

20 Jun

Washington DC based Nigerian artist VICTOR EKPUK recently completed a mural,  Divinity, for the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC. It was part of their newly opened African art galleries. You can see a time-lapse of him creating the mural above.

To see more available works by VICTOR EKPUK, please visit his page on our website HERE or contact the gallery.

Below, you can find an article written about his installation in the Indy Week:

Victor Ekpuk’s Divine Mural at the North Carolina Museum of Art Heralds New Life for Its African Galleries

Victor Ekpuk's new mural at NCMA was commissioned to augment the museum's expanded African art gallery.

Photo by Ben McKeown

Victor Ekpuk’s new mural at NCMA was commissioned to augment the museum’s expanded African art gallery.

Ekpuk’s work covers a thirty-by-eighteen-foot wall in one of NCMA’s new African art galleries, which have been expanded in the museum’s East Building to include works from across the continent spanning sixteen centuries. Opening to the public by the end of June, the galleries will almost double the number of African works on display, including never-before-seen textiles and works on paper in light-controlled areas.

El Anatsui‘s “Lines that Link Humanity,” a quilt-like sculpture of aluminum and copper wire, hangs on a wall adjacent to Ekpuk’s work. Valises opposite the mural contain objects including a Yoruba divination board and ornately carved totems. Approaching this commission with no preconceived composition, Ekpuk sat in the space for a day considering the neighboring works before he pulled out his iPad to begin sketching.

“It’s more about the aura of the objects that were pulling me as I got closer to some of them,” Ekpuk says. “Some of them I’m familiar with. Some of them not so much. The power and aura of the objects themselves created an atmosphere where I felt a sense of divinity.”

Rendered in white chalk on a black wall, Ekpuk’s composition forms an abstracted figure wrapping long arms around the perimeter. Hundreds of signs and symbols are densely packed within the arms, which are themselves filled with little circles. The large figure has a placid, stylized face at the top, and its distended arms terminate in huge hands that gather the chaos of the symbols together.

The mural has a presence and an intricate density comparable to that of Anatsui’s sculpture. Ekpuk counts Anatsui as an elder, and they’ve shown together in a 1994 group exhibit in Lagos. Ekpuk was one of five up-and-coming Nigerian artists paired with a trio of established African artists.

The Yoruba divination board, however, inspired the mural’s form. Ekpuk talks about how a diviner shakes objects in the tray-like board in order to answer questions or make predictions by interpreting their proximities. Instead of objects, Ekpuk fills his mural with symbols that draw upon nsibidi, a Nigerian system of ideograms. But the symbols are so crowded and intertwined that any attempted reading will be foiled. It’s hard to focus on one sign to see what it might refer to or depict. Instead, one’s vision darts around and takes in the overall density.

“I know it teases your brain to think that you could read it,” Ekpuk laughs, “but it’s not writing that tells you A or B or C. I never try to analyze them or say that they are any one particular thing. I open it up so that people can just see what they see in it.” Echoing this semiotic openness, Ekpuk deflects talk of any overt political message in the work. But neither is it apolitical.

“I walked into the space and, initially, I thought, Let’s not just do another social-political thing. At the same time, I’ve found that art is always politics. Sometimes I don’t think about politics, but once I start making art, this feeling starts coming out in the work. After I made this, I thought, Oh, I’m actually responding to this siege that I feel right now in the political climate in America.'”

Ekpuk describes the composition as a divine embrace, but the arms could be read as a crowded space of containment, like a refugee camp or border wall. The empty zeros might exude the banal homogeneity of power.

Ekpuk won’t say it’s a wrong reading, just that he sees something different. He’s inclined to cede the artist’s intention by making a willfully undetermined work. He’s leaning toward leaving the mural untitled so that a visitor can react to what it is rather than what it means. [Editor’s note: Ekpuk ultimately decided to title the work “Divinity.”]

“It forces you to abandon what you know and have an opportunity to be aware of something else,” he says. “Not everything has to be explained. If you want to bring what you know, then you’re just going to hit the wall. Perhaps it’s sort of a comfort work, rather than an angry work. It’s a reminder that, whether we believe in it or not, there is a divine source of our strength. It’s beyond us.”

This article appeared in print with the headline “Symbol Crash”

VICTOR EKPUK “Drawing Memory : Essence of Memphis” at Brooks Museum

18 May

Drawing Memory: Essence of Memphis

Currently On View

Exhibition Overview

Victor Ekpuk, a Nigerian American artist, painted a mural for a new gallery, Arts of Global Africa, in March 2017. His art is inspired by nsibidi, a sacred means of communication among male secret societies in southeastern Nigeria. Evolving out of the graphic and writing systems of nsibidi, Ekpuk’s art embraces a wider spectrum of meaning to communicate universal themes.

“The subject matter of my work deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and identity,” said Ekpuk.

The 58-foot mural is the beginning of the renovation of Arts of Global Africa, which will culminate in fall 2017.

“We are thrilled to be reinstalling the African Gallery with Drawing Memory as the centerpiece. Victor has been an artist in residence at museums across the country and visitors have been inspired and deeply moved by watching him work,” said Chief Curator Marina Pacini.

Ekpuk’s artworks are in such collections as the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art, Newark Museum, The World Bank, Hood Museum, Krannert Art Museum, United States Art in Embassies Art Collection and Fidelity Investment Art Collection.

 


Sponsors

Jimmy Humphreys
Brooks Museum League


 

AMBER ROBLES GORDON at the Houston Museum of African-American Culture

22 Mar

THE HOUSTON MUSEUM OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN CULTURE PRESENTS  i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s, for colored girls
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC FRIDAY, MARCH 10, 2017 THROUGH APRIL 15, 2017  Houston, TX- February 7, 2017— In honor of Women’s History Month, The Houston Museum of African-American Culture (HMAAC) is proud to present, i found god in myself: a celebration of Dr. Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls, curated by Souleo. The exhibit celebrates the genre bending, award-winning choreopoem/play, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, which debuted on Broadway in 1976.
Through 10 commissioned artworks by artists including Houston native Kimberly Mayhorn, Dianne Smith, Margaret Rose Vendryes and Amber Robles-Gordon the exhibition is a tribute to the Broadway play. Each work honors an individual poem and underscores their enduring significance in highlighting issues impacting the lives of women of color such as sexuality, race, sisterhood, violence and self-love depicted in and inspired by Dr. Shange’s work.
 “This exhibition underscores the conversation Dr. Shange started, extending the legacy and impact of her work into the visual arts medium,” explains Souleo, curator of i found god in myself. “The issues surrounding love, sexuality, gender equality, racial identity, and, ultimately, self-love explored by her work remain relevant today,” said Souleo.
 The exhibition will also include archival material that highlights the creation and evolution of the original text from its 1974 California debut to its Broadway run from the Barnard Archives and Special Collections at Barnard College.

 i found god in myself originally debuted in 2014 at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Long Gallery Harlem (formerly The Sol Studio) and La Maison d’Art. It has since traveled to the African American Museum in Philadelphia and is now presented at HMAAC.

Special programming accompanying the exhibition includes:
Friday, March 10, 6:30-8:30 PM: Opening Reception at HMAAC with curator and select exhibiting artists in attendance. Wine and light fare will be provided.

A full listing of related public programs can be found at www.hmaac.org

Exhibiting Artists: 
Amber Robles-Gordon, Beau McCall, Dianne Smith, Kathleen Granados, Kimberly Mayhorn, Margaret Rose Vendryes, Melissa Calderón, Michael Paul Britto, Pamela Council, and Uday K. Dhar.
###ABOUT HOUSTON MUSEUM OF AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE 
The mission of the Houston Museum of African American Culture (HMAAC) is to collect, conserve, explore, interpret, and exhibit the material and intellectual culture of Africans and African Americans in Houston, the state of Texas, the southwest and the African Diaspora for current and future generations. HMAAC explores stories inspired by themes of opportunity, empowerment, creativity, and innovation and cultural interrelationships through the lens of the African American experience.

 About Dr. Ntozake Shange:
Ntozake Shange is an American playwright, and poet. As a self-proclaimed black feminist, she addresses issues relating to race and feminism in much of her work.  Shange is best known for the Obie Award-winning play, For Colored Girls.  She has also written several novels including Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, Liliane, and Betsey Brown. Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.
 About Peter “Souleo” Wright:
Peter “Souleo” Wright creates and produces entertaining and informative events, exhibitions, cultural programs and media content. Souleo has collaborated with noteworthy institutions and brands including the New York Public Library, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art, AARP, Huffington Post, EBONY and more. Souleo’s work has been widely covered outlets including the Associated Press, NY Times, NBC and more.

 

Morton Fine Art celebrates the historic grand opening of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture with KESHA BRUCE’s (Re)calling & (Re)telling photography

13 Sep

Inspired by family mythologies and personal experiences, KESHA BRUCE‘s photography series (Re)calling and (Re)telling creates open narratives addressing aspects of African American history and experience through memory and storytelling. The complete 14 piece series of (Re)calling and (Re)telling is in the permanent collection of the new Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African American History and Culture.
EXHIBITION LOCATION

Morton Fine Art (MFA)

1781 Florida Ave NW (at 18th & U Sts)
Washington, DC 20009

HOURS

Tuesday – Saturday 11am – 6pm

Sunday 12pm-5pm

About (Re)calling & (Re)telling

Kesha Bruce uses photography as a means to explore new ways of conceptualizing cultural and ethnic identities and histories. Inspired by a collection of old and damaged negatives given to her by her grandfather, (Re)calling and (Re)telling is essentially the next step in the progression of those ideas.

Each photograph in (Re)calling and (Re)telling begins with a single large-format negative. Once a print has been made from the negative, fragments of maps, drawings, or other found imagery are manually manipulated directly in front of the camera lens, on a delicately lit three-dimensional set, in order to arrive at a final image. Each image in the series is composed and created “in camera” without the aid of photo-editing software.

(Re)calling and (Re)telling is part history, part personal mythology, and part homage. Each image contains narratives and histories, both real and invented, that give voice to individuals who remain marginalized by the commonly accepted meta-narratives within Western culture.

That They Might Be Lovely 
 
 

That They Might Be Lovely, 12″x9″, archival pigment print, edition of 15


That They Might Be Lovely was created by combining three images: The first, a Slave Map, dating from 1857, illustrating slave populations by state and county; a daguerreotype portrait of a slave woman named Delia, taken by Louis Agassiz in 1850; and a photograph of three lovely, smiling women, taken by my grandfather, nearly one hundred years later.

In Delia’s portrait, I saw not just a portrait of a slave, but a portrait of a woman who refused to be shamed by history. Much like the ancient limestone busts of Nefertiti, her profile reveals dignity and strength.
In the narrative I’ve created, the three young, beautiful, women, posing happily in a field, represent Delia’s private imaginings.
They are her dream, her wish, and her hope for the future. –KeshaBruce

And Then I Shall Be Free 
 
 

And Then I Shall Be Free, 12″x9″, archival pigment print, edition of 15


My grandfather seemed to have picked up photography as a hobby during the period from 1950-1955 while he was a soldier during the Korean War.  He never spoke to me about his photographs until I too began studying photography at University.  Then, one day, without explanation, he gave me his entire collection of negatives.

And Then I Shall Be Free combines an archival photograph taken of a slave plantation with an inset self-portrait of my grandfather in uniform. For my grandfather, being a soldier represented the possibility of a better life, and ultimately freedom. –Kesha Bruce

Begotten 
 
 

Begotten, 12″x9″, archival pigment print, edition of 15
 
While religion has never been the subject of my work, my religious upbringing has definitely had a significant influence on my work.

The idea for this image came from an archival photo of slave children on a plantation. This particular photograph of the children brought to mind a biblical verse that had always fascinated me.
The first chapter of the book of Matthew traces the genealogy of Christ. The chapter begins: “Abraham begot Isaac, and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers…” and continues on for another 16 verses, in this same manner, until we reach the birth of Jesus Christ.
I used a simplified shape of a house and the words from the passage as a foreground to reframe the original image. –Kesha Bruce

Nobody Knows Her People 
 
 

Nobody Knows Her People, 12″x9″ archival pigment print, edition of 15


“Nobody Knows Her People” is a phrase I once overheard one of my family members use to explain why nobody really knew much about my grandfather’s mother.  Much later, I learned that she was orphaned as a young child and was taken in and raised by another family, eventually taking their last name.

The primary image I’ve incorporated into Nobody Knows Her Peoplewas a very popular abolitionist propaganda drawing that was widely circulated in many different versions and printed in many different publications.  I was always struck by the simplicity and the power of this drawing and it immediately came to mind once I’d decided I wanted to create a narrative about history, disconnection, and loss.

Kesha Bruce

About National Museum of African American History & Culture
 
 
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, history, and culture. It was established by Act of Congress in 2003, following decades of efforts to promote and highlight the contributions of African Americans. To date, the museum has collected more than 36,000 artifacts. Nearly 100,000 individuals have become charter members of the museum. When the NMAAHC opens on September 24, 2016, it will be the 19th and newest museum of the Smithsonian Institution.
There are four pillars upon which the NMAAHC stands:
  1. It provides an opportunity for those who are interested in African American culture to explore and revel in this history through interactive exhibitions;
  2. It helps all Americans see how their stories, their histories, and their cultures are shaped and informed by global influences;
  3. It explores what it means to be an American and share how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture; and
  4. It serves as a place of collaboration that reaches beyond Washington to engage new audiences and to collaborate with the myriad of museums and educational institutions that have explored and preserved this important history well before this museum was created.
The NMAAHC is a public institution open to all, where anyone is welcome to participate, collaborate, and learn more about African American history and culture. In the words of Lonnie G. Bunch III, founding director of the NMAAHC, “there are few things as powerful and as important as a people, as a nation that is steeped in its history.”