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'Generations' at African American Museum


by Anne Bothwell 12 Aug 2011

In Generations: A Women’s Conversation, six artists’ recent works examine some facet of women’s lives, from motherhood to hoochie mamas, the passing of time and holding the past.

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Valerie Bennett-Gillespie, Letitia Huckaby, Anita Holman Knox, Marilu Flores Gruben (at mic), Vicki Meek

In Generations: A Women’s Conversation, six artists’ recent works examine some facet of women’s lives, from motherhood to hoochie mamas, the passing of time and holding the past. It’s an intimate show at the African American Museum. And at a reception last night, it was pretty easy to do as curator Emmanuel Gillespie suggested – have a conversation with the artists, have a conversation about their work.

For her “Untitled” installation, Annette Lawrence wrote the dates of each of her cycles over 30 years on tape that cascades down one museum wall.  Marilu Flores Gruben examines the Rio Grande through chiffon from her mother’s old party dresses.  I’ve often worked with Vicki Meek, director of the South Dallas Cultural Center, but this was the first chance I’ve had to see her work; this series “Where Did We Go Wrong?” examines the impact of what she calls hoochie mama culture, and combines images of same with rap lyrics and African proverbs, masks and symbolism.  Letitia Huckaby’s giant gowns made with antique quilts somehow evoke southern swamps and  backwoods. Valerie Bennett-Gillespie is inspired by her recent motherhood, while Anita Holman Knox remembers her mother, and others, in a series of “vessel quilts”

If you missed the reception, don’t fret: The museum plans to host a series of conversations around the works. We’ll post that info when we get it. Generations: A Woman’s Conversation is up through Oct. 29 at the African American Museum. Details.

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