“In 2007 I got really sick…this painting serves as a wakeup call.” - Will Downing on Benny Andrews’ “Trees of Life”
Plastic is everywhere, but have you ever imagined it as a piece of art? Visual artist, Antonia Perez has done just that by crocheting plastic bags to form colorful and delicate works. In our current exhibition, Txt: art, language, media, Perez’s ‘Estas en tu Casa (This is your home),” explores the meaning of home with the one material you can find in virtually any home across the world: plastic. We spoke with Perez and discovered where she collects her plastic bags (hint: she may ask you for a bag if she ever passes your way), the physical challenges of working with almost 1,000 plastic bags and more. Imagine that!
From the time I can remember, libraries have played a huge part in my life. As a child I grew up in Hampton, Virginia. I spent a lot of my time on the campus of what was then Hampton Institute, which is now Hampton University. My father taught civil engineering there and my mom taught English in high school. One of my favorite destinations on campus was the library.
Before the digital revolution there was the Print Revolution. Johannes Gutenberg’s 15th century invention of the printing press and technological advancements made by others helped information spread more rapidly and accurately. Plus it propelled the growth of a wider literate audience.
“The Pollen Catchers' Color Mixing Machine,” a site-specific mural created by Saya Woolfalk, fills The Main Gallery of The Living Room. Inspired by a collaboration with her young daughter, Aya Woolfalk Mitchell, the commissioned project fills six gallery walls with a mysterious and enthralling pictorial narrative inspired by fables and folk tales, and the symbols they engender. We chatted with Woolfalk and discovered how a young girl, Egyptian art and 300 colors helped create this astounding mural. Imagine that!
When I look at Romare Bearden’s “The Piano Lesson,” I am reminded of the music I grew up around. In 1944, I was born on the second floor of 369 Edgecombe Avenue. Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins lived about two or three houses away, and rock and roll singer Frankie Lymon lived a few blocks from us too.