This Week

 

 

Dear Friends,

Artists have always found ways to elevate individuals or groups of people. The politics of who to elevate and how to do it are really in focus now, with monuments to slaveholders being toppled and neighborhoods named after klansmen (finally) being changed. 

In January of 2019, the Center for Visual Art mounted the exhibit Gravity of Perception. The exhibition dealt with stories that are not often told, but that we should never forget. Stories about redlining, sundown towns and the killing of unarmed black men by police. 
 
As a featured artist in that exhibition, Xaviera Simmons’s work paid tribute to Black artisans throughout history. The works included objects such as tables, bowls, and chairs wrapped in luxurious textiles like velvet and suede. The wrapping was meant as a way to cherish the objects, while acknowledging and honoring the contributions of Black artisans, which have been largely overlooked from the time of slavery into the present. 

This week we will look at who our art holds in high regard, whether or not they deserve it. 

We'll see you this Wednesday at 5pm on Zoom.

Much Love, 
Katie

PS. As always, we want to see your work! Tag CVA in your social media posts and use one, or both of these hashtags. #CVAtribute #CVACultureClub

Selected Works from Xaviera Simmons


Xaviera Simmons, Sundown (Number Eleven), 2018

 


Xaviera Simmons’ Sundown series explores Black American life as shaped by the legacies of slavery, colonialism, segregation, and migration and by her study of records of life in the Jim Crow era. The series draws its name from the term sundown town, an all-white town or suburb that had forced out or excluded residents of color. These places were known to be unsafe for Black, Mexican, and Jewish people, especially after the sun went down.
 
Colorado’s history is packed full of racism, from massacres of native plains tribes, strong ties to the Ku Klux Klan, exploitation of Chicano residents and migrant workers, to the establishment of sundown towns. There isn’t a lot of documentation about which Colorado towns were sundown towns but a Loveland Reporter-Herald op-ed recalls the sign once posted at roads leading into Loveland:
 
Welcome to Loveland - Elev. 5000 - Nationally Famous Sweetheart Town - Won’t You Stay Awhile - Industrial Opportunities - Diversified Agriculture. We observe the Jim Crow Laws here.
 
For more information on sundown towns, look to James Loewen, author of Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of American Racism, and a former professor of race relations at Tougaloo College in Mississippi and the University of Vermont. He has an ongoing research project dedicated to discovering which American communities were sundown towns. Teaching links and research information can be found on Tougaloo College’s website.
 
Xaviera Simmons, Sundown (Number Six), 2018
Xaviera Simmons, Sundown (Number Ten), 2018

Learn more about Xaviera Simmons.
 

More Artists for Inspiration

Images, left to right, top row: Shirien Damra, George Floyd Tribute, 2020; Rommy Torrico, Bamby Salcedo, from the Trans Awareness Series.
Bottom row: Thomas Wimberly, USA Forefront, 2020; Amy Sherald, First Lady Michelle Obama, 2018.

Looking for a way to connect with your staff or loved ones? Host your own Socially Distant Culture Club! Our education program staff will work with you to create and lead a unique and custom experience for your group's cultural enrichment. We’ll develop an artistic activity for all skill levels that will have your group engaging in meaningful ways. Contact us today to learn more!