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CFAC Presents ‘As Bad as I Wanna Be: Reimaging Black Womanhood’
Community Folk Art Center opens the spring 2016 exhibition season with “As Bad as I Wanna Be: Reimaging Black Womanhood,” featuring the works of artists Delita Martin, Kenyatta Hinkle and Nina Buxenbaum. These emerging mixed media artists interrogate femininity, gender and race in their work. Each artist’s creative practice combines a mix of personal and collective narratives exploring the role of Black women’s bodies and their continual subjugation through the appropriation of existing material culture. All three artists work to reclaim history and complicate ways of knowing. The exhibition will be on view through April 23.
Artist and printmaker Martin was born and raised in Conroe, Texas, and is currently based in Little Rock, Ark. Her portraiture work focuses on African American women, particularly the women who she calls “pillars” in her life and family history. She pulls from memories of quilting with her grandmother, embodying a similar message of piecing together her history and the visual narratives of the women in her imagery. Martin’s work has been featured on Huffington Post Arts and Culture as well as Art League Houston.
Hinkle, raised in Kentucky, has set out on a project titled “Kentrifica,” which combines the geographic ways of knowing for the artist, Kentucky and Africa. Hinkle’s project has developed beyond just her own narrative, extending to the larger dialogue of displacement. One installation displays a Jim Crow-era noose hung on a wall horizontally. As opposed to its traditional vertical use, Hinkle’s installation emphasizes the tension between the past and the present. Her work has been named on the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know” and has been reviewed by The New York Times.
As Buxenbaum creates her work, she is also thinking about the shifts necessary in the depiction of Black womanhood and femininity. With her ancestry as both African American and German-Jewish, she works in the space of complexing identity or “the metamorphosis of identity.” As an admirer of Western paintings, Buxenbaum wanted to see more of herself, family and friends and people she related to in painting. Buxenbaum has lectured at Rush Arts Museum as well as Studio Museum in Harlem.
The opening reception for “As Bad As I Wanna Be: Reimaging Black Womanhood” will be held Thursday, Feb. 11, from 6-8 p.m. There will also be an artist panel discussion on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. with the featured artists, moderated by Linda Carty, associate professor in the University’s Department of African American Studies.
Gallery Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.communityfolkartcenter.org or call 315 442-2230. Like us on Facebook at Community Folk Art Center, follow us on Instagram @CFACSyracuse and Twitter @CFAC.