The only museum in the nation emphasizing art
by women of the African Diaspora
3 + 1: 'Older Women and Love'

3 + 1: ‘Older Women and Love’

Saturday, March 25, 2017 Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D., Academic Center Auditorium 12:00 p.m. Enjoy a community screening of Camille Billops’ film Older Women and Love (1986), which explores intergenerational relationships and celebrates female sexuality. Immediately following the screening, participants...
Mickalene Thomas:  Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities
Mickalene Thomas:  Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities

Mickalene Thomas: Mentors, Muses, and Celebrities

An exhibition organized by the Aspen Art Museum On view February 9 – May 20, 2017
Please give to the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art during its 20th anniversary season

Please give to the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art during its 20th anniversary season

2016 has been an exceptional year for the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art. During this season of charitable giving, relive highlights from our 20th anniversary and consider supporting the Museum by making a tax-deductible gift. Your generosity will help...
Become a Friend of the Museum Today!

Become a Friend of the Museum Today!

Please become a Friend of the Museum and help  us continue our tradition of presenting engaging projects that consistently expand art offerings in Atlanta, the region, and beyond. click here  

Myra Greene is a photographer and the 2016 – 17 Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Spelman College. A celebrated artist and educator, Greene enjoys exploring photographic processes that engage issues about the body, memory, and the ever-shifting identity of African Americans. Greene has been an artist in residence at prestigious institutions including Light Work at Syracuse University, New York, and the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Her work is in the permanent collection at the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and Spelman College. The Museum sat down with Greene recently and asked three questions.

1. The Museum acquired your photographs Untitled #12 and Untitled #53 from the Character Recognition series, which were inspired by your personal and cultural experiences with bigotry. You question what people see when they look at you and if they are capable of seeing your character as clearly as they see your skin tone. This work was completed between 2006 and 2007 and you comment that these lessons were “haunting and frightening in these modern times.” It is 2017, and we continue to ponder these questions. Let us know how you feel about this work now.

MG: It’s always about how we look. And you would think that we would look differently as time goes on, but there’s something innate about classification. That’s what we do. For good or bad, we sort, and I think about that a lot. After Character Recognition, I did a project called My White Friends to see what happens when I sort. We always talk about the Blackness Sort, but do we talk about the sorting of others?

Character Recognition was important for me to visually communicate that we still look, we still sort, and we still classify, but it was also important to say that I will be classified in a beautiful and magnificent way. Now that I have less of them in my life [because many were purchased], they’ve become more precious. I’m fascinated 10 years later by the response and see how the projects required the viewer to slow down and reconsider the way they’re looking at the works.

2. Tell us about your current projects?

MG: After Character Recognition and My White Friends I was interested in talking about self-portraiture without using the body. In 2013, I started experimenting with African fabrics—deconstructing them, and making physical collages that were then photographed and scanned and made into photographs. They’ve ultimately led me to textile work. There is a lot of silk screening, embroidery, hand stitching, and machine stitching that then goes back into making a photograph, which is part one. The second part becomes an exploration of quilt making as a deconstruction and reconstruction of design. What ultimately happens is it becomes a metaphor for the reconstruction of self. I am also making protest quilts as a means to think about the act of sewing and art making as protest.

3. You are hosting two artists who will present public lectures on March 29 and April 5. Tell us about the featured artists and why you selected them.

MG: Deborah Jack and Sama Alshaibi have an inspirational scope of experiences to offer attendees. I am interested in their photographic process, how they make their work, and their journeys to successfully move outside of photography to video, sculpture, and installation. They also have an interesting global perspective within their biographies that materializes in their art.

Deborah Jack will be presenting on how hurricanes and salt can represent the fury of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade and its need to wash over the unseen. Her lecture, “the water between us remembers: Hurricanes and the Aftermath as a Catalyst For Artistic Re-membering” is on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Suites Private Dining Room.

Sama Alshaibi, who is Iraqi and Palestinian, uses her blended identity to explore the notion of statelessness. She will present her lecture, The Length of The Neck, on Wednesday, April 5, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the Suites Private Dining Room.

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