As a collaborative project space, Kinfolk House presents more than simple exhibitions or pairings of artists, it provokes dialogue between artists and creatives. In this first year, it is important that our projects embody Kinfolk House’s core values. Our first project, Welcome, by Letitia and Sedrick Huckaby grounds the space in family, tradition, and legacy by collaborating with Sedrick’s grandmother, Hallie Beatrice Carpenter, whose maiden name was Welcome.
Carpenter, known as Big Momma, was the matriarch of the family and left a lasting legacy. She had the unique ability to bring people together and make them feel at home. Though not an artist herself, she expressed her creativity through textiles, fashion, and music. Assisted by family, the Huckabys have selected a collection of memorabilia and sound recordings to exhibit alongside their own work as part of the collaborative nature of the space.
Sedrick’s paintings of his grandmother form a direct connection to the former homeowner. The paintings span several years, beginning prior to Big Momma’s death and extending to present day. Through layers of paint, Sedrick reveals the emotional history of the home and the changes of the physical space over time. Depicted in the paintings are people who have lived in and known Big Momma’s house including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His work is about remembering and memorializing Carpenter’s life and the people who have connections to the space. Alongside Sedrick’s paintings will stand his uniquely textured figurative sculptures crafted from newspaper pulp.
Letitia’s large-scale landscapes investigate places connected to Carpenter’s past. Big Momma moved from her hometown of Weimer, Texas to Fort Worth with her family sometime between the 1930 and 1940 census, but her children and grandchildren never returned to the places she was from. Letitia takes a journey, documenting spaces from Weimer to Waco along highway 77 and then from Waco to Fort Worth along interstate 35 and brings that ancestral memory back to Big Momma’s home. Printed on fabric and displayed in oval hoops, these photographs will also be embroidered with scarlet thread—a clear and direct biblical reference to birthright, bloodlines, and sacrifice. The thread will transcribe Big Momma’s words and in doing so imbue the work with her voice