Being alive means having the capacity to carry past experiences and learn from them. But there is a point when this emotional baggage becomes too much. Carrying too much emotional baggage can literally stop us from being open to new experiences and growth.
How we choose to handle our baggage makes a difference. We have the choice to let it define us or to let it go and move forward.
With it’s festive pom poms and colorful African print fabric, Mind Over Matter is meant as a reminder that racial bias does not define me. It is a celebration of identity.
The New Jersey Arts Annual is a unique series of exhibitions highlighting the State’s visual and performing artists. It is open to any artist currently living or working in New Jersey. In partnership with major museums around the state, one exhibition takes place each year, alternating between host institutions.
The Arts Annual series is sponsored by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment of the Arts.
This exhibition opens to the public at the Newark Museum of Art on June 17.
The Social Fabric: Black Artistry in Fiber Arts, An Exhibition in Homage to Viki Craig
June 4, 2021 – October 24, 2021
Morris Museum located at 6 Normandy Heights Rd, Morristown, NJ
This exhibition in partnership between Art in the Atrium (ATA) and the Morris Museum, is dedicated to showcasing the diversity of Black art. Deeply rooted in quilt-making tradition, today’s Black fiber arts incorporate conventional textile skills with contemporary art and design practices. Beyond their visual and tactile allure, these works communicate societal and cultural messages at the intersection of identity and inspiration. This year’s theme honors the lifelong work of ATA co-founder and quilter Viki Craig (1947-2018) in elevating Black artistry.
Curated by Gwendolyn Barrington Jackson, Nette Forné Thomas, Onnie Strother, and Wannetta Phillips (Art in the Atrium, Inc.), with Ronald T. Labaco (Morris Museum).
My tapestry Wonder Woman is featured amongst 50 works by over 27 artists, including Aminah Robinson, Beverly McCutcheon, Bisa Washington, Carole Robinson, Clara Nartey, Denise Toney, Ellaree Pray, Faith Ringgold, Gladys Barker Grauer, Glendora Simonson, Janet O. Green, Jeanine Bowen, Katie Commodore, Kianga Jinaki, Michael Cummings, Minnie Melvin, Sharela May Bonfield, Sherry Shine, Shervone Neckles, Stephen Towns, Tina Williams Brewer, Toni Thomas, Viki Craig, Wannetta Phillips, and Maureen Kelleher and The Social Justice Collaboration Quilts Project.
Racial Gaslighting, hides in plain sight in everyday interactions. It subtly shifts dialog from a racist topic at hand onto the accuser – forcing me to question and re-assess my own response to racism, rather than the racism itself.
“You’re being overly dramatic.”
“Are you sure it was about race?”
“I’m sure he/she didn’t mean it like that.”
Intentional or not, these types of comments trigger a spiral of self-doubt and create a convenient way to avoid uncomfortable conversations about race.
The constant questioning, twisting and undermining of personal experience and what I know to be true – has had a compound negative affect upon me, manifesting in insomnia, anxiety and hefty amounts of emotional baggage. Through these works, I am exercising these demons.
This exhibition explores implicit biases facing BIPOC communities and the aesthetic armor for protection I have created to shield myself.
Lauren LeBeaux Craig, Esq., Executive Director of Art in the Atrium, Inc. and Dr. Cleveland Johnson, President/CEO of the Morris Museum, talk about about their brand-new partnership and upcoming special exhibition, The Social Fabric: Black Artistry in Fiber.
My tapestry Wonder Woman is hanging in the lobby of the museum through the end of October 2021.
How have the past few years of turbulence, isolation, unrest, and injustice affected artists?
Take a look at the exhibition ReVision and Respond, with me. This New Jersey Arts Annual exhibition features 45 New Jersey artists from all over the state. I will tour you through the show looking at my work and the work of my peers. This program will be available on Zoom and will be live on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch.
I started calling this cart Wide Load before I was even conscious of how much of my emotional baggage is tied to the food I eat. Don’t even think of visiting my Mom without her feeding you and taking a plate home. I can still smell , vivid memories of Father punishing me for not finishing my dinner plate and reminding of the starving children in Africa at the same time. A double whammy of eat your food and feel guilty about eating your food. I could go on and on…