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New NCMA exhibits reflect on identity and tradition

‘Voices of Future’s Past,’ by Stephen Hayes.

Two exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of Art invite thoughtful reflection on identity, time, the familiar and tradition: NC Artist Connections and Break the Mold: New Takes on Traditional Art Making.

About North Carolina Artist Connections

Viewable now until Feb. 13, 2022 in the East Building, NC Artist Connections includes two North Carolina artists and a local collective of artists. 

The Beautiful Project, a collective which “boldly and unapologetically” tells stories of Black girls and women, created a three-part video and photographs. It’s in part a reflection of the last year and a half, said Khayla Deans, creative director of The Beautiful Project. 

It’s “what we are remembering about ourselves,” she said during a media preview event. The themes include “lament, release and hope.”

Don’t miss: The full video, Jamaica Gilmer’s self portrait celebrating the tradition of Black women’s hair and Damola Akintude’s ‘Self Portrait.’

The description of Damola Akintude’s photograph reads: “I encountered grief of my old self through an unexpected ritual of reflection. But through visual documentation, I saw parts of my identity take on new form, like an aging bouquet of flowers.”

Stephen Hayes, a Durham-based artist, creates art from new materials and found items with a lens of social and economic justice, especially for Black Americans.

‘5 lbs.,’ by Stephen Hayes

 Don’t miss: The installation of ‘5 lbs.,’ hands surrounded by brass shell casings, and two busts, ‘Voices of Future’s Past’ (photo at top).

Hồng-Ân Trương uses archival images showing political action of Asian Americans in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Don’t miss: The details of ‘We are beside ourselves’ transfers a print onto a mirror. 

More about the exhibit: [info]

About Break the Mold: New Takes on Traditional Art Making

This exhibit opens this weekend and juxtaposes traditional art processes and uses with new interpretations. 

‘Let him speak first,’ by Elizabeth Alexander

Traditional porcelain plates are shown across from Elizabeth Alexander’s ‘The Great Enemy of Truth,’ which deletes symbols of the Confederacy from historic plates and descriptions, leaving the landscape of the American South. 

An 1830s cornucopia cotton quilt is displayed, as is Katy Mixon’s ‘The rain bows and the rainbows,’ oil paint and used hand rags on muslin. 

A historic textile, an apron, is shown next to Elizabeth Brim’s forged and fabricated steel recreation.

Don’t miss:

‘Let him speak first,’ also by Elizabeth Alexander, which deconstructs domestic symbols such as wallpaper, to examine gender roles.

Devorah Sperber’s ‘After Van Gogh,’ a creative installation that mimics classic art and how the mind translates art.

Break the Mold opens Saturday and can be viewed until Feb. 6, 2022. [more info]

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Author: raleighconvergence

Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen is the editor of Raleigh Convergence.

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