Gullah Dancers by Ann Tanksley

Ann Tanksley
Gullah Dancers
18" x 24"

This artwork was included in the First Fruit XVI: Tending Our Mother's Gardens exhibition of 2012

“Our Mothers’ Gardens” is the title essay of a 1983 book by Alice Walker that also contains 35 other pieces that introduce her “Womanist” aesthetic. Now, more than 30 years later, black women in the arts continue in that vein. “Our Mothers’ Gardens” may be understood as a metaphor for the community of creativity that nourishes African American culture. In the longstanding African tradition of “taking a village to raise a child,” generations of African American women artists have remained sensitive to their responsibility to tend the garden that will ensure their cultural survival. This exhibition presented works by several African American women artists that demonstrate their awareness that they are the inheritors of a distinctive heritage and who are motivated to “pay it forward” in their artistic handiwork and ongoing engagement with their constituent communities. Featured artists included Ann Tanksley, LaVerne Kemp, Charlotte Ka, Christine Bethea, Tina Brewer and Leslie Ansley. The exhibition was curated by Elizabeth Asche Douglas, B.F.A., Painting & Design, Carnegie Mellon University; M.A., Art History & Criticism, University of Pittsburgh; additional study, University of Pennsylvania.

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