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African American History Via Black Dolls

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The National Black Doll Museum of History & Culture – the only museum in the country whose mission is to preserve the history of African Americans through the art and craft of Black dolls – will spend 2020 telling the story of beauty, culture and empowerment in its newest exhibit VIBE: Visions In Black Elegance. The exhibit features the 40th Anniversary of Black Barbie and a tribute to The Ebony Fashion Fair.

The exhibit opens in May with the annual Mother’s Day Tea held at Lombardo’s in Randolph, MA, commemorating the creation of the first Black Barbie doll by Kitty Black Perkins, this year guest speaker.

“Yes, She Does Come In Black!” This May, the museum will pull out all the high fashion stops (with over 300 Barbie’s…) to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the original Black Barbie doll. As we explore the creativity of her designer, Kitty Black Perkins, we’ll look at the significance of this groundbreaking doll. Why was a Black Barbie so important? How has she changed in the last four decades? And how has she changed the industry? This will truly be a series of exhibits not to be missed by any Barbie lover.

Continuing on the theme of elegance and style, The Museum will present “The Ebony Fashion Fair: A Retrospective.” Using our fashion dolls and a treasure trove of artifacts, we journey through sixty years of the famous and glamourous touring Ebony Fashion Fair and its innovative founder, Eunice Johnson. Highlights include life-size mannequins dressed in garments selected from the pages of Ebony magazine and recreated by local seamstresses, an affirmation wall where visitors can share their wisdom and “I SEE ME” – an immersive experience reminding us: representation matters!

So, immerse yourself this spring in empowerment and elegance. VIBE with us as we examine the lives of Kitty Black Perkins and Eunice W. Johnson, role models of Black women empowering themselves and others with visuals that showed the unmistakable truth: Black IS Beautiful!

About The Museum:
The National Black Doll Museum presented by the Doll E Daze Project Inc. has 5,000 dolls of color in their collection Located 35 miles south of Boston in Mansfield, MA. It is the first Black doll museum in New England, the second in the country, and the only doll museum in the world whose collection chronicles the history of African Americans through the eyes of a doll collector.

Learn more about the exhibit online at www.nbdmhc.org. It will be on display at the Museum, located at 288 N. Main Street in Mansfield, MA from May 12th – July 1st. A tea and reception is scheduled for Sunday May 10th from 11am to 4pm at Lombardo’s in Randolph, MA and will feature brief remarks by founder, Debra Britt, guest speaker Kitty Black Perkins, and others.

For more information, call (774) 284-4729 or visit the official web site at www.nbdmhc.org

For to purchase tickets, visit:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/barbie-mothers-day-teatalktribute-tickets-83611778079?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

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MAVP365 and Timothy Lister at The Carver Gallery

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San Antonio multidisciplinary artist Maverick Pascal and portrait artist Timothy Lister will have their work on display through Feb. 17 at The Carver Gallery. 

Pascal’s exhibit, MAVP365, depicts his self-reflection and mental health journey. Pascal says art is healing. 

In 2020, Pascal dedicated himself to creating at least one piece daily for the entire year, hence the name MAVP365. His inspiration comes from different parts of his trauma, lessons from his healing, or learning from others’ journeys. His work’s geometrical fragments and broken pieces draw inspiration from the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi, where broken objects are mended with gold to become more beautiful. 

Music and sounds also influence Pascal’s designs. “Whether or not I know what I want to express, the frequencies from the songs I listen to influence the storytelling of the colors, lines, and shapes.”

To learn more about Pascal or buy his artwork, visit (MavP365.com).

Lister’s work is on display in The Carver’s Side Gallery. His work is realistic in form and media; however, his approach is cross-cultural. Lister’s paintings reflect a deep interest in African American culture and history.

A native of Texas, Lister has been inspired by the works of Jacob Lawrence, Ed Loper, and Henry Tanner over the years of art study. He has also been inspired by contemporary artists John Coleman of San Antonio and Guy Sheppard of Houston.

The Carver Gallery is located in The Jo Long Theatre lobby of the Carver Community Cultural Center at 226 N. Hackberry. The gallery’s hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm. There’s no admission fee for the gallery.

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Between Yesterday and Tomorrow – Perspectives from Local Black Artists

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Between Yesterday and Tomorrow, Perspectives from Black Contemporary Artists in San Antonio will have its opening reception from 6 pm to 9 pm on Jan. 10 at the Culture Commons Gallery at City Hall at 115 Plaza De Armas.

This event is free and open to the public and is part of DreamWeek San Antonio 2023. The exhibit will be displayed from Jan. 19 to Nov. 17. 

Curated by Barbara Felix and presented by The City of San Antonio’s Department of Arts & Culture, this exhibition will showcase a multifaceted collection of local Black artists as they share their cultural and life experiences through their work. Themes include Black history and identity, family dynamics, social connections, spirituality and resilience. The artworks include drawing, painting, photography, mixed media, digital media, assemblage, sculpture and quilting. 

The 18 artists presented in this exhibition are actively engaged in their artistic practices. Each brings a unique perspective, covering Black history and identity topics, family dynamics, social connections, personal human experience, spirituality, and resilience. 

“The goal was to drive the collective vision of Black contemporary artists as documentarians of the historical and social conscience of their time,” Curator Barbara Felix commented. “When the individual selected works came together in the gallery, I realized the prospect of this show was coming to fruition in a way that beautifully celebrates each artist and their vision.” 

Featuring artworks by Carmen Cartiness Johnson, John Coleman, Kaldric Dow, Kwanzaa Edwards, Anthony Francis, Alain Boris Gakwaya, Deborah Harris, Edward Harris, Paul Hurd, Alethia Jones, Theresa Newsome, Wardell Picquet, Calvin Pressley, Don Stewart, Naomi Wanjiku, Angela Weddle and Bernice Appelin Williams. 

Culture Commons is located in the Plaza de Armas Building and is managed by the Department of Arts & Culture. It consists of a storefront gallery on the first and second floors and a 1,500 sq. ft. exhibit hall that features visual art exhibits, performances, invited speakers, and workshops. 

The vision for Culture Commons is to serve as the City of San Antonio’s cultural space that integrates the arts into civic conversation by encouraging creativity, supporting local culture, and engaging the community in transforming the future.

The exhibit hours are Wednesday through Friday from 11 am to 4 pm and it’s closed during holidays.

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Artpace: Curator Talk

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Join Artpace Thursday, Dec. 15 at 6 pm for a curator talk with Missla Libsekal, who will share her curatorial practice, followed by a Q&A. Doors open at 5:30 pm, and the free talk will begin at 6 pm. 

Libsekal is Artpace’s fall 2023 International Artist in Residency Guest Curator and is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Her practice focuses on interdisciplinary research and artistic practice from a Pan-African perspective. She says on her website that a watershed moment in her journey towards art and practice was a visit to her ancestral home of Asmara, Eritrea (a country in the Horn of Africa), in 2004. 

She’s also the founder of Another Africa, a digital platform that operated from 2010 – 2016, and featured writing about African and Afro-Diasporic experiences and imaginaries. Her writings have been published in The Africa Report, The Guardian, Art Africa, SAVVY art journal, and more. 

In 2017, Libsekal curated the second edition of the Art x Lagos, Nigeria’s first international art fair. In an interview with Nataal magazine, she described her approach to the curated projects stating, “I was thinking about the rupture of histories within the African context and how we address them—that felt critical to use as a foundation. I also wanted to think about materiality and expand on how contemporary art is understood and defined.”

Artpace San Antonio is a nonprofit residency program that supports Texas, national, and international artists in creating new art. As a catalyst for artistic expression, it engages local communities with global art practices and experiences. To learn more about the event and get tickets, visit (Artpace.org).

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