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Visual Exploration of Family Ancestry, Memories, and History
The exhibition includes artwork from three painting series by the artist.
Memories: In and Out of Time – In and Out of Time is a mixed media painting series in which the artist considers the power of family memories to transport the viewer to another time and place. Using copies of old family photographs, acrylic paint, and specialty papers, she creates textured spaces in which observers can be present in the past. By doing so, she invites the viewer to reminisce about their own experiences growing up back in the day. Fragments of Maya Angelou’s poem, of the same name, is embedded within the painting.
Ancestry: Of Blood and Bones – Using precious photos of relatives from the family tree as reference, the artist explores not only family resemblances among her ancestors, but also painting techniques that combine the abstract serendipitous flow of poured paint with realistic portraits. The visual drift and movement creates a pensive place in which to reside as viewers meet the ancestors face to face. Selected for this exhibition are the Langston’s of Virginia from the artist’s maternal side. James Henry (Great-Great Grandfather), his wife Primmie and their two daughters Pearline and Maggie (Great Grandmother). Included also are James Henry’s brother, Jesse, who was captured by the Confederate army even though he was a “free man of color”1 and Jesse’s son, the Reverend Robert Jackson Langston.
History: Toiling Upward – The inspiration for this body of work stems from the artist’s intrigued with jobs held by kin in her family tree, such as, tobacco stemmer, coal miner, fishmonger, grocer, etc. She refers to it as her “post-runaway” series and is curious about how folks earned a living once they were emancipated. While researching historical context of her subjects, she made the fortuitous discovery of Dr. Cater G. Woodson’s and Lorenzo J. Greene’s book, “Negro Wage Earners”, in which they described many of the jobs and conditions under which free African Americans worked post-slavery. The title of the series is from a poem written by one of America’s favorite poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was an abolitionist and author of many poems in which slavery was subject. The poem, “The Ladder of St. Augustine”, reads in part: “The heights by great men reached and kept | Were not attained by sudden flight, | But they, while their companions slept, | Were toiling upward in the night.”
Free to the public
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The Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum Presents an Exhibition by CORA MARSHALL Roots & Branches & Blooms-An Exploration of Family Ancestry, History, and Memories
Opening Reception: July 14, 2018 5 PM – 9 PM Second Saturday ArtWalk St. Petersburg TROLLY STOP 7
2240 9th Ave. South, St. Petersburg, FL 33712