2022 2022: Sheltered

Exhibition on view May 24 - September 8, 2022 at the UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery, Star Store Campus

Ⓒ Corinne Spencer: Rose of Sharon, 2021
Ⓒ Corinne Spencer: Rose of Sharon, 2021

Exhibiting Artists

Gloretta Baynes
L'Merchie Frazier
Ekua Holmes
Meclina Priestly
Corinne Spencer
Alison Wells

Curated by Alison Wells in collaboration with Viera Levitt

Opening Reception: AHA! Night, Thursday, June 9, 6-8 pm; Live music by Saxophonist Emmanuel “Manny Escobar” from 5 pm, followed by Artist Talks at 6 pm in the gallery.
Additional programming: Thursdays, AHA! Nights, July 14 & August 11, 6-8 pm
Closing Reception: Thursday, AHA! Night, September 8, 6-8 pm

Organized in conjunction with DATMA's “Shelter 2022: Where tradition meets technology.”

UMass Dartmouth University Art Gallery in Downtown New Bedford proudly presents “Sheltered”, an exhibition featuring work by Women Artists of Color from diverse cultural backgrounds and unique perspectives. This contemporary exploration combines historical & present-day narratives that deal with the concept of Safety, Protection and Home through the work of artists Gloretta Baynes, L'Merchie Frazier, Ekua Holmes, Meclina Priestly, Corinne Spencer and Alison Wells. 

“I wanted to explore this theme through the lens of women artists particularly from the African Diaspora in order to shed a unique light on ‘Blackness and Womanhood’ and what that means as a relevant topic in today’s world,” says guest curator Alison Wells.

According to one of the six artists in the exhibition, L’Merchie Frazier, “the premise of this exhibition allows us to explore looming questions such as; Sheltered from? Sheltered by? Sheltered with? Sheltered for? Sheltered where?

Corinne Spencer notes, “To be Black and a woman in America is an act of radical self-creation and reclamation. Each day I insert myself into a world that was not made for me, and reshape it in my image.”

Gloretta Baynes also states that “my understanding of the importance of my life’s work as an African Woman born in America, connects me culturally to my past and present.”

These and other aspects are explored in this exhibition curated by Alison Wells in collaboration with the UMass Dartmouth Gallery director Viera Levitt through the variety of media:

Contemporary Artist, Storyteller, independent curator and Cambridge native, Gloretta Baynes, shares her personal, creative/spiritual explorations and experiences within the context of her digital collages and photographic narratives.

L’Merchie Frazier, visual activist, public historian and artist, innovator, poet and holographer captures the artistry of her intricate fiber applique / quilts. They highlight the reparative aesthetic approach to expand the historical narrative, diminishing erasure, responding to trauma, violence and crisis through artistic activities.

Contemporary Boston artist, community activist, and award-winning picture book illustrator Ekua Holmes explores themes of family, childhood, relationships, faith and self determination in her mixed media autobiographical work.

Painter, calligrapher and micrographer, Meclina Priestly strives to use her creativity as a healing modality and a vehicle to engage meaningful conversation. The three works of art shown are a reflection of “Morna,” the longing of connecting with her Cape Verdean roots.

Corinne Spencer’s site specific installation with a video projection, Splendor: Falls, explores the restorative connection between Black women, natural landscape, and spiritual awakening. The project unfolded as the artist’s expression of yearning for images of a Black body at home on the earth, which could function as a critical counterpoint to the onslaught of images of Black death and trauma that flood our cultural consciousness.

Originally from Trinidad & Tobago, Contemporary artist, art educator, curator and gallery owner Alison Wells explores the perception of home in her paintings that become a conduit for the push and pull of familiar and unfamiliar cultural aspects. She translates these aspects through juxtapositions of color; texture; figurative abstractions along with the grid and wall-like structures, emphasizing stability and self-protection.

You are cordially invited to visit this contemplative exhibition currently on view at the University Art Gallery, with opening reception and Artist Talks on June 9, 6-8 pm. The galleries at Star Store Campus are open Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, Sundays 9 am to 5.30 pm, free of charge. Closed on Juneteenth and Independence Day. Open until 9 pm during AHA! Nights (the second Thursday of every month).


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