Artists Archives Features Black Artists Looking at Black Bodies

“Tin Can Goodbyes” by Yvonne Palkowitsh

Thu 11/19-Sat 1/16/21

The new exhibit opening at Artists Archives of the Western Reserve on Thursday November 18 actually draws on a major exhibit they mounted last year. SeenUNseen featured a major collection of African-American art from Atlanta, augments by the work  of 32 Cleveland-area artists.

The new exhibit, About Body/About Face, focuses on seven of the local artists who were in that show, honing in on figurative works that depict African-American subjects in paintings, drawings, photography, mosaics and textiles.

“How we are represented in culture not only reflects our realities, it creates them,” they remind us. “This is particularly true for people of color in America. Vilified, exotified and commodified, for centuries black bodies have been treated as screens, a place to project white desires with little or hostile regard for their own experience.” So AAWR is giving space for these black artists to speak about their own bodies in their own artistic voices.

The work includes archived artist Lawrence Baker’s portraits of everyday people; Davon Brantley’s Renaissance-inspired self-portraits; Jacques P. Jackson’s mosaics; a piece fromAmanda D. King’s To Be Born___ collaborative project with photographer Matthew Chasney; photographer Yvonne Palkowitsh’s digital composites; new abstract portraits by LaSaundra Robinson that speak of the strength and beauty of black women;” and large paper-and-indigo banners by textile artist Tony Williams.

 There’ll be a virtual opening reception on Thursday November 19 @ 7-8:30pm, where curator Mindy Tousley will talk, along with the artists in the show.

The exhibition will be open for viewing during gallery hours, Wednesday-Friday @ 10am-4pm and Saturday @ noon-4pm. Both the show and the virtual reception are free.

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