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Photos from Material Girls at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum

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Martha Jackson Jarvis
Maya Freelon Asante

Material Girls: The newest exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum features eight contemporary African-American female artists by Cara Ober

Crumbling bricks, slashed tires, plastic barbershop combs, old newspapers. They sound like items you’d expect to find in a landfill. But despite their lowly status, they can communicate cultural values, personal remembrances, and political statements when wielded by a skilled and purposeful hand. Ordinary materials transformed into extraordinary pieces of art is the emphasis of Material Girls: Contemporary Black Women Artists, the newest exhibit at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum, which features work by Maya Freelon Asante, Chakaia Booker, Sonya Clark, Torkwase Dyson, Maren Hassinger, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Joyce J. Scott and Renee Stout.

The sculptural works in Material Girls speaks directly to the ingenious output of black women throughout history, as well as the narratives, traditions, and techniques passed down from generation to generation. “The exhibition is really a testament to the kinds of lessons black girls learned from their mothers and grandmothers about strategic improvisation, making do, making it work, and doing all of this with great elegance and style,” explains the curator of the exhibit, Michelle Joan Wilkinson. The exhibit features contemporary artists in different stages of their careers, and offers a broad array of materials and expressions, but also a cohesion and collective expression of solidarity.

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 Martha Jackson Jarvis
 Chakaia Booker
 Maren Hassinger
Maya Freelon Asante
Maya Freelon Asante, Maren Hassinger
Martha Jackson Jarvis
 Joyce J. Scott
Sonya Clark, Torkwase Dyson
Sonya Clark
Sonya Clark
Sonya Clark
Renee Stout
 Torkwase Dyson
Renee Stout
 Joyce J. Scott
 Joyce J. Scott
Chakaia Booker
 Chakaia Booker
Maya Freelon Asante
Maya Freelon Asante
Maren Hassinger
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