We, Too, Are Book Artists

The exhibit "We, Too, Are Book Artists" features the work of African American artists and is heavy with history both shared and personal. In Badass Women Who Have Inspired Me to Soar, Dinga McCannon chronicles the stories of African American women including Ma Rainey on thick, coppery, hand-shaped pages of a book riotous with color and texture. Curator Amos Paul Kennedy documents Fourteen Quotes from Rosa Louise Parks ("I was just trying to let them know how I felt about being treated as a human being") on bright prints. Rosea M. Reeder's Do you? expands accordion-like to reveal the word "remember" over a black-and-white illustration of how captured Africans were tightly packed into slave ships. One of the highlights of the show is Trenton Doyle Hancock's Me a Mound, a book telling the story of the Mounds, creatures and heroes who are more mythical than historical. In one story, Torpedoboy faces his enemy: the vegans. He "berates their sacred meal, 'Sori old tofu.'" The vegans, who are alien-like creatures whose spines, ribs, and even intestines poke through their meatless skin, respond, "Dis tofu rool," to which Torpedoboy responds, "Tofu is drool." When Hancock's work is viewed within the context of the whole exhibit, Kennedy's other series of prints resonates. They read, "Art Informs!"; "Art is Power!"; "Make Art!"; "Art Builds!"
July 21-Sept. 22, 2007

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