Reflecting Black to the Future: Celebrating Emancipation and Freedom – offers a retrospective of my use of mixed media, including digital technology, to build an art practice grounded in a love of Black history and culture. This exhibit incorporates work influenced by my early childhood in Coconut Grove, Florida, living and nurtured in a community of Black Bahamian pioneers. In this community, the importance of education and achievement were constantly emphasized. Encouraged at a very young age to read the biographies of Ida B. Wells, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Dr. George Washington Carver, over time I learned that these four and other liberators were constant stalwarts in the early struggle for the freedom of African-Americans. Their lives, impact, and images are embedded in and center my art practice, as well as the histories and images of my Bahamian and African-American ancestors who figure prominently in my work. I hope that this exhibit offers an opportunity for viewers to identify and reflect on the themes of emancipation, liberation, upliftment, and joy that are possible amid the perpetual and ongoing struggle for all to live free and prosper in an environment that is at times hostile and threatening.
To learn more about Dr. Valerie Patterson, click here