Friday, January 26, 2018

Returning to the African American Museum

There will be no Friday Smiles this week, because I am gone.  By the time most of you read this, I will be at the hospital with Sally who is having her foot operated on.  I had to be up by 4 a.m. to take her to the hospital where her surgery is scheduled for 5 a.m.  I simply couldn't stay up long enough to link to Annie whose post goes live at 12:30 a.m. my time.

Because I needed a post I wouldn't have to link to, we are returning to the African American Museum today to see the remaining photos I took.

I'm sure you remember this photo of Verlene I shared about a week ago.  She called this piece "Flour Sack" and explained it reminded her of how her mother used to make all the children's clothes (there were eight in the family) from flour sacks once they were empty. 

Here were the others she brought, except for the Butterfly which is off to the side, but I showed it last week.

She called this one Cotton Candy.

Can you see how she gathers the material (either fabric or canvas, I'm not sure which), then paints it?  I believe she hardens it in place before she begins the painting process.  

This one was all about peacocks.

The price on this one (the only one with a price) was just out of camera shot, but I remembered it was $700.00 (USD).  I remember making something similar using caulk and water.  I placed a doll dress in a plastic bag with the watered down caulk, and when I removed it the next day, it was nicely scrunched.  I didn't attempt to paint it other than one flower on the skirt area.  It still sits in my craft room on the dresser that I keep my mailing supplies in.

But now it is time to take a look at the featured artist this month at the museum.

These are really difficult to photograph because all the photos are behind glass and the lights and windows reflect into the glass.

I never got a good photo of these two paintings, but I got a good reflection of one of the beautiful windows!

For some reason, I was drawn to this painting.

When I first saw this painting, I felt a twinge of sadness come over me.  This was such an emotional painting.  The color is off here, but it is much more correct in the photo below.

This is what I look like when I get up in the morning, although my hair isn't that long and much curlier!

Such diversity in these paintings, and such emotion, too.

So who is the artist, you ask?  Her name is Samella Lewis, and according to her bio, she is an artist, activist, art historian, and educator.   She also collects others' art, especially African-American art.

Lewis became the first African-American and the first African-American female to earn a doctorate in fine art and art history. She has been in five films and has written seven books in addition to the paintings you saw in the museum.  Talk about an overachiever.

She founded the Museum of African-American Arts in 1976 in Los Angeles, CA.  The museum recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.  She also founded three other museums in the Los Angeles area, and one near New Orleans, LA, her place of birth.  She was born in 1924 and is now 93.

Thank you for joining me today as I looked at the art by Samella Lewis and shared the art of Wichita artist, Verlene Maholmes.

20 thoughtful remarks:

Helen said...

thanks for sharing these photos. I hope Sally's foot surgery goes well.

Valerie-Jael said...

There's some beautiful art in that museum. I especially like those textile pieces, and used to make similar things with the kids at school. Thanks for sharing the photos, and all the best for Sally's foot, hugs, Valerie

Let's Art Journal said...

Wishing Sally well for her surgery and a speedy recovery! I enjoyed visiting the museum again and Cotton Candy and Peacock pieces are amazing 😁. The texture and dimension with the painting is so beautiful. Have a great day and happy weekend! J 😊

Annie said...

I hope your friends surgery goes well and she makes a good recovery. I’ve enjoyed my visit again today. I really love the work of the first artist...the shapes and colours used are gorgeous. The work of the other artist is very different but I still really enjoyed sharing your photos. Thanks. I will link you up now.
Annie x

pearshapedcrafting said...

What fabulous colours and texture in the textile art! Loved seeing Samella Lewis's collection - what a great range of styles! Wishing Sally a speedy recovery! Chrisx

Lisca Meijer said...

Oh I hope Sally's surgery goes well.That is an unearthly time to have surgery! Do they work around the clock? It might be an idea for the NHS in the UK that has waiting lists from here to Tokyo for most surgeries.
I love Verlene's art, and the stopry behind it. The textile pieces might also be reminiscent of the old flour sacks. I wrote something about clothes from cotton sacks last year in my blog. Here is another article with lots of photos:
The manufacturers in the 1930 used sacks with pretty patterns, knowing that women sewed clothes from them. Even the company logo/name was in washable ink so it would come out. Fascinating.
Have a good weekend,
Best wishes to Sally,

My name is Erika. said...

Hope Sally's surgery goes well. And Verlene's art is really interesting. I haven't seen anything like it. The colors are pretty and it does make a nice abstract piece. It's fun to look at art. I have a hankering to visit an art museum, maybe in a few weeks I will get that chance, so I really enjoyed seeing this post. :) Have a great FRiday-hope you don't have to wait at the hospital/clinic too long. Hugs-Erika

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

This was a wonderful exhibit. Thanks for all the photos, Elizabeth.

Best wishes to Sally for successful surgery and quick recovery.

kathyinozarks said...

Give Sally a hug from me and let her know we are hoping for a good recovery from her surgery.
I really enjoyed the second artist allot more than the first-although the first artist has an interesting technique.
Thanks for sharing all these photos with us. That is really nice that the library is doing this too

CJ Kennedy said...

Best regards to Sally for a speedy recovery.

The art you showed is all very beautiful. I especially loved Verlene's Peacock piece. Just stunning. Samella Lewis must be an amazing woman to have accomplished what she did.

Divers and Sundry said...

I hope Sally's foot surgery goes well and that her recovery is speedy and complete :)

I always enjoy art exhibitions, and you show such a variety of work in this post. The fabric art is particularly striking, but the price would stop me from bringing any of it home ;)

froebelsternchen Susi said...

I love the amazing paintings of Verlene and wow such an intersting artist Samella Lewis is! Thank you for introducing me to her art and bio!
Hope all went well with Sally! ♥♥♥
oxo Susi

Jeanie said...

Thanks for the visit to the museum. It is most impressive. Beautiful curating of work.

Good wishes to Sally -- you're a good friend!

Lowcarb team member said...

I do hope Sally's foot surgery goes well.
Loved seeing all of the photographs, thanks for sharing.

All the best Jan

da tabbies o trout towne said...

these are all awesum pieces !!!! thanx for sharing Elizabeth.....the artisans have truly great talent....hope your friends surgery went well, safe travels home to you both ~ ♥♥☺☺

Lynn Holland said...

I have a fantastic book by Uppercase called FEEDSACKS and it’s the story behind how flour sacks where used to make clothing. It’s full of the patterns and designs of the sacks.. The book is a bit pricey but worth every penny. I got my copy from British bookshop - Much Ado Books but it’s available direct from Uppercase in America

Angela Radford said...

That is one fantastic exhibition, gorgeous art work! Happy weekend, Angela xXx

Meggymay said...

Fantastic photos, it would be hard to pick out any favourites although I was drawn to study the textile ones. It was a fabulous exhibition you have shared with us.
I hope all went well for Sally's surgery.
It will have been a worrying day, I hope you have able to get some rest after such an early start this morning.
Yvonne xx

Anne said...

Hello. I am late visiting as I have been busy all day. My class this morning and then I went out for late lunch. A lovely day.
I read your latest post and it sounds as though your friend doing ok- good news.
The art work is fabulous - I especially liked the peacock piece. Hope you have a good week. Anne x

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

I enjoyed this tour through the museum. Some remarkable art for sure. Such a range of genres and media. Lovely.