|Ringgold Hate is a Sin|
|Ringgold Aunt Emmy|
|Frazier's The Sit In|
|Dorsey The Family Home|
|Close up from The Family Home|
The other artists' works in the exhibit related to non-political aspects of the lives of African-Americans. I loved the mixed media work of Najee Dorsey, who was also the curator of the exhibit. His large painting The Family Home is rich in its textures and references to the past. If you look carefully, you see that he uses actual black and white photographs in the picture frames. I would love to know the history of the people in the photos and how they fit into the work. I also loved the African mask sitting on a pedestal in the room, both as a cultural reference and because I just love African masks. (We have our own small collection which I started with the purchase of two hand painted wooden daggers on our honeymoon--but I digress!) And of course the prominent place of the piano in the work reminds us of the centrality of music in many families' lives. When reading Dorsey's bio, I learned that he started selling paintings to his mother when he was five years old to buy candy at the local store. I just love that little tidbit. What a great parent to instill in her child a sense that what he is doing has value while also teaching him the importance of working for what you want.
|Ellis' Time for Worship|
I spoke with a woman who was working at the Arts Alliance to find out a bit about the genesis of the exhibit. The works were all for sale but they did not appear to be created by artists who live in the area. This led me to wonder if the exhibit was travelling, like Women Call for Peace was. Apparently, somebody in the Fort Myers arts community is friends with Dorsey, who put the exhibit together just for the Arts Alliance. Pretty amazing given the size of the community, even during "high" season. The quality of the arts in Southwest Florida continues to be a wonderful surprise to me, and is one of the many reasons I'm so happy with our move here.