It was just the beginning of the fall semester when Laughlin asked if I would participate in selecting art for an exhibit coming in February. Little did I know how impactful participating would be for me. To resonate with the selected pieces is an understatement of how each piece made me feel. A group of Black students, including myself, carefully chose the right pieces of art out of hundreds that could both represent our community and grasp the theme of healing. Plenty of paintings, drawings, and more spoke to us; it was not an easy task, only choosing the selected few.
The exhibition, “Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves”, which I helped curate, is important to me for a number of different reasons. As an African American artist and woman, I don’t typically see the work of African Americans, nor have I seen many depictions of African American people in art either. Seeing all this work in person and being able to participate in writing for the catalog – was healing firsthand and what the artist I interviewed for the catalog had to say was very eye opening for me. Because of this experience, I will go on to create artwork of my own which I hope will foster a sense of healing and impact the lives of others!
In addition to curating the exhibit, the students and Professor Laughlin recently presented on their work at the panel “A Discussion on Feminist Art” featuring Myrtis Bedolla (Founding Director, Galerie Myrtis) and Ify Chiejina (Artist) moderated by Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim, held has part of UMW’s Women’s History Month celebration.