BMAC hosts online discussion of Black identity and representation in art

BRATTLEBORO — Artist Jennifer Mack-Watkins, Daricia Mia DeMarr of Black Women in Visual Art, and Novella Ford of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture will discuss Black identity and representation in art in “Holding Space: Reflections on Children of the Sun,” a free online conversation presented by the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (BMAC) on Wednesday, April 28 at 7 p.m.

In her debut solo museum exhibition, “Children of the Sun,” Mack-Watkins explores history, recalls childhood memories, and acknowledges the importance of positive representation of Black Americans.

The artwork in the exhibit was inspired in part by The Brownies' Book, a magazine for Black children co-edited by W.E.B. Du Bois, and in part by the life and legacy of Vermont's own Daisy Turner (1883–1988). “Children of the Sun” is on view at BMAC through Sunday, June 13.

Born in Charleston, S.C., Jennifer Mack-Watkins lives and works in New York and New Jersey. She earned her B.A. in studio art from Morris Brown College, her M.A.T. in art education from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and her M.F.A. in printmaking from the Pratt Institute.

Daricia Mia DeMarr is a co-founder of Black Women in Visual Art. She served as assistant director at the New York University Kimmel Galleries, curated “Respectfully Yours” at the Queens Museum at Bulova Corporate Center, and founded Pi Arts Projects, an art consulting service.

She is currently gallery manager at Peg Alston Fine Arts in New York City and serves as an independent curator, arts administrator, and consultant.

Novella Ford is the associate director of public programs and exhibitions at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, a research division of the New York Public Library. She connects diverse audiences to the archives and engages history through dialogue, performance, literature, and visual arts.

The conversation is the second of four events presented by BMAC this spring exploring Black visibility and representation in art and in Vermont.

Upcoming talks include “Black Representation in Children's Literature” (Tuesday, May 4), and “Illuminating History: The Vermont African American Heritage Trail” (Wednesday, May 19).

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