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9 Artists/ 9 Months/ 9 Perspectives

October 8, 2022 - December 17, 2022

9 Artists/ 9 Months/ 9 Perspectives features work by the collective, Dandelion Black Women Artists.




Nine Black women artists engaged in collaborative efforts to create artworks that transcend and transform events in the year 2020. In their eyes, art-making became a transgressive act through activism, documentation and vision. Utilizing book-making, craft-making and works on paper, 9 Artists/9 Months/ 9 Perspectives presents a birth of vision under hardship felt worldwide, collectively allowing us to reckon with our own perspectives, reflections and welfare.


This exhibition presents the conception, gestation, and birth of a collaborative artists’ books created by nine Black women artists of the collective, Dandelion Black Women Artists. Their responses, perspectives, and reflections were inspired by the continuous struggle for health, social, and economic welfare of marginalized people during COVID-19, the lack of response from the federal government, and the political allyship of socio-political grassroots movements like Black Lives Matter. Craft-making became a transgressive act through artivism, perspective, and vision.



Their work embraces Black feminism as theorized by artist/art historians such as Freida High Wasikhongo Tsesfagiorgis, in which art created by Black women artists depict the Black woman as: 1) subject rather than an object; 2) the exclusive or primary subject; 3) active rather than passive; 4) sensitive to the self-recorded realities of Black women; 5) imbued with the aesthetics of the African continuum—sustaining a personal vision that embraces Afrocentric tastes in color, texture, and rhythm. 

Exhibiting artists include:

Adjoa J. Burrowes, Julee Dickerson-Thompson, Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter, Michele Godwin, Francine Haskins, Pamela Harris Lawton, Gloria Patton, Gail Shaw-Clemons, and Kamala Subramanian.

9 Artists/ 9 Months/ 9 Perspectives will be on view from October 8 – December 17, 2022.


October 8, 2022
December 17, 2022
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Works in EMERGENCE are diverse in their subject matter and media, but a few themes reappear throughout. Working in abstraction or in the traditionally peaceful genre of still life, artists like William Carter, Allen Stringfellow, and Jonathan Green express themes of interiority or sociability, history or modernity. Notably, Stringfellow and Ralph Arnold both experimented with media and materials and worked extensively in collage, which allowed them to combine abstract design, figurative imagery, and on occasion political ideas.

Viewers typically expect Black artists to focus on particular aspects of their social and political identities within their work. Where might those expectations come from? Still life, abstraction, and collage may express many different things about artists’ interior lives and their visual and social observation, whether connected to public manifestations of identity or not.

William Carter’s mid-century still life Untitled presents a group of vibrantly colored bottles that invite the viewer’s gaze, set against a similarly colorful background with floral elements like grapes and leaves. They give evidence of conviviality and might be interpreted as symbols of social gatherings, but they could also just be a collection of pleasing forms. We might put Carter’s still life in dialogue with that of Jonathan Green, who became close friends with Carter while living in Chicago. Green’s close-up view of an eloquently simple composition presents oranges, a pear, and a lemon in front of two vessels. Works like this piece call the viewer to examine the objects the artist chose to include, to consider how they interact with each other like bodies in space, and to reflect on their meaning within the traditional genre of still life painting.

Collage might suggest the piecing together of identity from different components that might not usually coexist, giving room for more expansive imaginations of meaning than a straightforward representational image might allow. It could also just be an inventive way of combining colors, shapes, and textures. Allen Stringfellow’s Untitled, a collage from 1962, brings familiar motifs from still life—fruit and flowers, desserts and glassware—together with imagery of artist’s models and performers. Layered with paint and tissue paper that frustrate the viewer’s attempt to get clarity on the subject matter, the bursts of form and colors hint at the splashy abstraction of Stringfellow’s untitled, textured painting made from house paint and particulate on cardboard. Here the artist tests commonly found materials to create new textures and plays with the creation of colors and finishes that diverge from “Western” academic painting methods.

In The Waiting, Arnold constructs a large collage from different paper components, lace, and paint. In the piece, elements of European and African art are placed in dialogue with one another, while some figures appear alone and isolated, others in large groups. Without giving easy answers, Arnold implies questions about social issues. Who is waiting, and for what? In his Love Sign II, which bears the words “Love is Universal,” Arnold asserts the equal validity of all types of romantic affection and love, utilizing collage to convey a more straightforward political message.