I’ve been tickled pink by the reception of Blackty Black Blanket has been getting.
It was selected to appear in Surface Design Journal’s Seventh Annual International Exhibition in Print: The Fusion of Fiber Arts, Fashion & Design is month.
And was also juried into Fiber Art Now’s eighth annual Excellence In Fibers exhibition.
Juror Kate Irvin, Curator and Department Head, Costume and Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Art Museum reviewed 1300 artworks and selected Blackty Black Blanket for the winter issue of Fiber Art Now to be released in January 2023. The work is also eligible for the onsite exhibition at San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, August 23, 2023 through January 4, 2024.
None of this would be possible without the stellar photos of my work by April Tracy. Thank you April for elevating my vision.
“Free Your Mind” is a cascade of story ribbons tied to fishing nets draped upon the wall like a blanket. Visitors are invited to share written statements about experienced microaggression on a “story” ribbon which I will weave into the “Free Your Mind” blanket. Infusing the essence and yarn of each participant into the social fabric of a protective blanket.
Free Your Mind Public Art Installation
Exhibition Dates: May 7, – August 27, 2022. On view for the public Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 to 5:00PM.
Location: ArtCrawl Harlem @ Governors Island, 406b Colonels Row
Theda In Residence: June 11, June 25, July 16, July 23, July 30, August 6, August 20 from 11a – 2pm.
In this weaving, each piece of yarn is representative of a conversation where I was acknowledged for being able to express my thoughts and ideas. Being told I’m well-spoken often comes off as a backhanded compliment. It carries problematic connotations that, it is unusual for someone of my race to be intelligent or eloquent.
The completed weaving is displayed on a DYI loom, as if the work is still in progress because some version of this conversation, continues still…
As a child, I wanted to take ballet. When my mom took me to the dance school, the teacher took one look at me and told me I was better suited for Jazz/Tap because my skin tone would not match the point shoes. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jazz/Tap, but I never got a pair of point shoes and still regret this to this day.
This Summer, my weaving, You Are So Articulate, will be at the 2021 New Jersey Arts Annual: ReVision and Respond hosted on site and virtually at The Newark Museum of Art from June 15th until August 22, 2021.
In this weaving, each piece of yarn is representative of a conversation in 2020 where I was acknowledged for being able to express my thoughts and ideas. Being told I’m well-spoken is a back handed compliment and carries the connotation that, it is unusual for someone of my race to be intelligent or eloquent.
The completed weaving is displayed on a DYI loom, as if, it is still a work in progress because some version of this conversation, continues still, till this very day.
Microaggressions are defined as subtle, intentional — and oftentimes unintentional — everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups.
The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination, is that people who commit microaggressions are often unaware they are doing these things – and if you point it out to them, they say, “That wasn’t my intention, you are being too sensitive.” Which is yet another microaggression.
I often have the experience of people touching my hair without asking first, which makes me feel like a merchandise on display. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I’ve been complimented for being “articulate.” Which presumes that black people are not usually capable of competent intellectual conversation.
The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences… stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility.
Created using a combination of free form weaving, knotting and wrapping techniques, I have frozen these moments with, zip ties, ribbon, yarn, paracord, cotton rope, beading and recycled fishing nets to create protective armor.