June 4, 2023

High-Profile Show Brings African-American Art to UMW

Ronald Jackson: "She Sang a Song No One Would Hear." Oil on Canvas.

Ronald Jackson: “She Sang a Song No One Would Hear.” Oil on Canvas.

Sophomore Lauryn Taylor sees a bit of herself in a new exhibit at the University of Mary Washington Galleries.

“I haven’t seen many works of art featuring someone who looks like me,” Taylor said of a piece featuring a full-figured Black woman in Healing Through the Preservation of Our Histories and Our Selves, on view at Ridderhof Martin and duPont galleries through March 24. “It means so much that a painting like that is … being shown to everyone.”

Taylor, a studio art and marketing major, is among Mary Washington students who – along with faculty, staff and community members – had a hand in selecting pieces for the galleries’ new high-profile exhibit. The show features a collection of works by renowned contemporary African-American artists – Faith Ringgold, Jacob Lawrence, Theaster Gates, Kara Walker, Sonya Clark and nearly two dozen others – on loan from the Petrucci Family Foundation (PFF).

“We’re so fortunate to be able to offer our students a curatorial experience like this,” Department of Art and Art History Chair Jon McMillan said, “and to bring artwork of such a high caliber to the Fredericksburg community.” Read more.