As displaced persons of the African Diaspora, upon birth we are inundated with tainted notions of other’s perceptions of who we are, can be, will be, and won’t be. Because we are born of Spirit-power, from a soul level we continuously, actively, no matter how arduous the journey, identify and embrace our true individual and collective selves. Art, all arts, are one of the primary ways we do this. “Gifts of Our Ancestors: Resilience in the Diaspora” represents the breadth of our diversity and connectedness no matter how many generations from home we are. We and others can see ourselves through interpretations, insights, and the ancestral legacies we carry.
This is an opportunity to share the joy, wisdom, brilliance, and wholeness of us, by us. In honor of the African Diaspora, its history, legacy, people, and resources, the New Mexico African American Resilience Committee invited artists to share the gifts of their ancestors.
Specifically, artists were urged to be introspective in honoring direct and collective ancestral lineages, our diverse communities and experiences, and themselves through their art. They were asked to submit work that reflects the role ancestors playing their creativity, defiance, power, resilience, and success. Art is our gift from our ancestors, from wherever we come.
The theme is inspired by author and philosopher, James Baldwin, who said “History, as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read. And it does not refer merely, or even principally, to the past. On the contrary, the great force of history comes from the fact that we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do. It could scarcely otherwise, since it is to history that we owe our frames of reference, our identities, and our aspirations.”
Further, Dr. Doris Fields urges, “When we know our past, we may understand our arrival at present; and when we understand our arrival at present, we may readily create our future.”
The community will be introduced (or reintroduced) to African queens and philosophers, intercultural connectivity, and human interdependence that has proven critical to the very evolution of all of us Homosapien sapiens (this is not an error).
This curated exhibition is on display from February 3- March 14, 2024.
The reception, which will feature Maurice Burns of Gerald Peters Gallery in Santa Fe and other renowned artists, including, Zero Bey, Willa Siao-Pao, Karen Jones Meadows, and Raul Davis, will be held on Friday, February 16, 2024, from 5-7 PM.
Soul food refreshments will be served.
Please join us in this celebration of art from the African the Diaspora.
Artist Image: Willa Siao-Pao – “Sister Friends”