by EMILY WARREN
The current art exhibition in both Dupont and Ridderhof Martin Gallery contains artworks from The Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art. The Petrucci Family Foundation loaned over 30 works to both galleries to display the collection “Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves.” This exhibition was co-curated by UMW students, faculty and community members. The Petrucci Family Foundation website states this is a “collaboratively planned exhibition approach that encourages reflection, healing and regrouping after enduring several years of national tension that filtered down to their community. From a portrait series that unpacks childhood trauma and radical forgiveness to a quilt that’s grounded in ancestral traditions, these works call on us to contemplate all that we’ve endured and how we can move forward as a stronger community.”
Below are a few pieces that are currently on display in this exhibition. All of the following information is from the UMW Galleries catalog for the “Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves” exhibition.
LaToya Hobb’s “Angelica” from 2012 is a woodcut print (49 by 33.5 inches) capturing a young Black woman as the main subject. Hobbs often explores Black women subjects, American beauty standards, cultural identity and womanhood.
Sonya Clark’s “Afro Abe” from 2010 is mixed media—a $5 bill with peacock feathers (4.25 x 7 x 1.25 inches). Sonya Clark is currently a professor at Amherst College in Amherst, Mass.
Natalie Erin “N.E.” Brown’s “Value Pyramid” from 2015 features 10 individual wood burning pieces reflecting on Brown’s personal experiences, empirical observations and her interest in narrating real stories of life and people (Overall: 50 by 39 by 2 inches. Individual: 8 by 6 by 1.5 inches).
Sterling Shaw’s “God Bearer-Theotokos” from 2012 is acrylic on canvas (48 by 48 inches). The painting celebrates the Black female body by focusing on the back-side of a plus-sized woman. Shaw also explores motherhood within her artwork.
Monica Ikegwu’s “Olivia” from 2020 is oil on canvas (48 x 36 inches). She often paints her family and siblings through beautiful colors, textures and composition. She says her family is often her inspiration, and she wants to capture them as they progress through life.
The exhibit will be open until March 24 with a closing reception that day from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. The hours of both Dupont and Ridderhof Martin Galleries are Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday 1 p.m.-4 p.m. The galleries are closed during UMW holidays and breaks, and admission is always free.