To imagine or conceive something in a new way
When Fulton County acquired Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds collection, it began with 250 works and has continued to expand to approximately 450 works of art. Within this extensive collection is a small subset of female artists comprising of 41 works. In honor of our 25th anniversary I have chosen to feature these artists in a new way … as a collective shown together for first time at Hammonds House Museum. In essence, Re-Imaging our permanent collection in a way that celebrates the beauty and mastery of the female artists in the collection.
The scope of the exhibition is large. Twenty-one artists born between 1900 and 1982, each with their own unique skill and vision in their art making, exploring gender, ethnicity, religion, culture and the world around them as they see it when they created the piece. Re-Imagining features works in print, photography, painting, drawing, and sculpture.
In the collection are early works of Atlanta’s Tina Dunkley, Janelse Waldon Holloway, Sheila Pree Bright, and Ouida Canady along with icons Elizabeth Catlett, Samella Lewis and Lois Mailou Jones. There are delicate works that will draw you in as with Betty Blayton’s Accepting Source Energy and Shahar Caren Weaver’s Devotion and bold works that require a step back to gain a sense of the totality of the work as with Mildred Thompson’s pieces, Charlotte Riley-Webb’s Sunken Treasure and Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier’s Mount Bayou.
Rather than present these artists works in chronological or thematic order I have chosen to honor these artists by installing the works with as much room and breathe as possible to ask the viewer to slow down and look, learning about each work and each artist; Re-imagining the work and the artists lives, providing greater depth and exposure to these brilliant and often overlooked artists.
Showing these master artists together, each at a different point in their career, is an honor for Hammonds House and an artistic treat for the greater public. The exhibition gives the rare opportunity to show a collection of this caliber started by a single collector and provides a platform to understand and to "Re-imagine … to conceive in a new way” the importance of these artists and understand a little about their life and how it influenced their art. Each artist had such a strong voice and their work reflects their story and message to us all. Enjoy!
Tracy Murrell, Curator
Amalia Amaki's art captures the lives of African women of the Diaspora through media from everyday life photography, quilts, buttons, boxes and household items. Her work redefines the lives of past and present African American heroines and heroes and contrasts their depiction in the mainstream media.
Betty Blayton’s artwork is coded in the metaphysical. The sphere included in many of her works refers to wholeness, the relationship between man and nature in the most ultimate sense. Thus her works serves as a gateway to higher spiritual levels.
Sheila Pree Bright is a fine art photographer whose work combines a wide-ranging knowledge of contemporary culture, while challenging perceptions of identity, patriotism and portrayals of urban and suburban themes.
Ouida Canady was an international portrait artist and award winning painter working mainly in oil on canvas, acrylic and mixed media. Her legacy lives on as the founder of The Artist's Atelier of Atlanta. She was one of the few European American artists collected by Dr. Hammonds.
Elizabeth Catlett is an icon among Amercian artists and is noted for her socially conscous works that are reflective of both African and Mexican cultures. She was a master painter, printmaker, and sculptor.
Tina Dunkley is best known for her batik paintings and mixed media assemblages. She uses visual art to investigate the varied manifestations of the African Diaspora saturated in generations of European thought and Consciousness.
Robin Holder's work is the perfect synthesis between subjective content and the mastery of multiple techniques within her medium. Her fluidity of line, form, color, and texture engages audiences through a narrative style filled with the complexity of racial, economic, and spiritual iconographic metaphors.
Jenelsie Walden Holloway’s bold, fluid, abstract paintings provide a compelling backdrop for figurative works. A painter and educator, Holloway was the former director of Spelman College's Art Department.
Lois Mailou Jones had a successful career lasting more than 70 years. Jones was a pioneering masterful artist who surmounted prejudices and roadblocks without losing the vitality, warmth and color that earmarked her brilliant work. Through her extensive travels, she produced figurative and narrative paintings exploring both personal and social themes.
Lizetta LeFalle-Collins is a curator, art historian and museum consultant specializing in the African and Black Diaspora. She studied art at the University of Californis, Santa Barbara and L.A.
Artist and art historian, Samella Lewis is renowned for her contributions to African American art and art history. Lewis's deeply personal art embodies some experience from her own life in each piece.
Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier is a visual mythologist, a memory keeper. Her visual repertoire mythologizes and re-imagines historical incidences (especially those that are informed by race, gender, and stereotypes) using photography, painting, oral histories and primary source documents.
Yanique Norman's works explore themes of profound alienation and an insatiable longing not only from the imagined perspective of an enslaved African but simultaneously captures the emotional, sexual and spatial estrangements that plague contemporary black people.
Wendy Phillips’ conceptual work is informed and inspired by the ethnographic research project she has been doing with women of African and North American indigenous descent in the communities of the coastal states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, Mexico.
Charlotte Ka Richardson creates multi-media installations and mixed media paintings that voice metaphorical calls of awakening, of healing, and of hope in both political and spiritual realms.
Nellie Mae Rowe is a self-taught artist. Her multifaceted work illustrates her personal mythology, her response to current events and popular culture, and an assimilation of African American spiritual and narrative traditions. Rowe's distinctive style shows an intuitive sense of color and form. She preferred simple materials—crayons, markers, pencils, pens, paper, cardboard, egg cartons, and Styrofoam food trays—and enjoyed creating works of art from recycled objects.
Renee Stout’s imaginary characters unfold in a variety of media, including painting, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation. Stout knows how to shape narrative, evoking strong feeling out of the half-glimpsed detritus of an imagined life.
Mildred Thompson worked in the media of painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture and photography. Her work reflects influences from astronomy, spiritualism, and metaphysics.
Haitian artist Luce Turnier's modern, abstract work is reflected in her superb illustration. Painting by instinct rather than philosophy, Turnier is known for creating powerful portraits of black-skinned people, which were in contrast to Haiti's popular “primitives” images of her time. Haitian artist Luce Turnier's modern, abstract work is reflected in her superb illustration. Painting by instinct rather than philosophy, Turnier is known for creating powerful portraits of black-skinned people, which were in contrast to Haiti's popular “primitives” images of her time.
Shahar Caren Weaver is an artist, theologian, curator, and social justice activist. Her spiritual perspective is seen in her multifaceted paintings, drawings and collages.
Charlotte Riley Webb's contemporary abstract work uses a bold, colorful palette and rhythmic style as her signature. Her paintings take a journey through her soul on the way to the canvas, where they are cultivated and materialized.