The Small Black Museum: Vol. II
Presented in partnership with The Carver Museum
The Small Black Museum Residency Project was launched in 2021 as a way to further align the Carver Museum and Cultural Center’s work with its mission to preserve and exhibit African American material culture, history, and aesthetic expression. The residency was also established to support an ever-evolving ecosystem of Black artists living and making work in Central Texas. The primary goal of the Museum’s newest program is to help cultivate early career artists by engaging them in critical conversations about their work, providing mentorship around the business of art, and preparing them to engage with a wide range of institutions.
The residency project’s second iteration features work by Alexis Hunter, Elisha Luckett, and Elizabeth Hudson. Each artist uses a form of portraiture to explore a range of themes that includes interiority, phantasmagoria, time, spiritual memory, and gender-based oppression.
Alexis Hunter’s work is part of a contemporary feminist art movement that continues to challenge male-dominated institutions through provocative interventions that offer vital critiques of white supremacy and patriarchy. Incensed by the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, Hunter has developed HAVEN’T I GIVEN ENOUGH???!!, a multimedia installation that uses self-caricature and satire to examine the real horror of living in a society that vigorously polices women’s bodies.
In [solomon//the circleUNBROKEN], Elisha Luckett explores the spiritual memory of his family, through the deliberate integration of sound, text, and images. Influenced by Ming Smith’s use of soft focus and blur, Luckett’s painterly photographic approach employs opacity as a way to protect the histories, familia myths, and grief that form the “architectures of his lineage.” As viewers weave between the monoliths that hold the artist’s work, the cyclical nature of our existence becomes increasingly apparent.
Elizabeth Hudson’s body of work, In Our Own Hands, is a surrealist reflection of Black interiority. Centering ease, softness, and gentle power, Hudson creates abstracted landscapes and figurative portraits that the artist refers to as mindscapes. Watercolor and acrylic portraits of Black women, often rendered from an aerial perspective, depict Intimate representations of each subject and the vibrant spaces they create for themselves.
What can we learn about ourselves if we surrender to the interior world and resist the expectation that we are racial subjects in constant conflict? How can the deployment of opacity protect against further exploitation while transmitting critical information to cultural insiders? What will it take to dismantle a global system of gender-based violence, and how can artists continue to stage meaningful interventions? These are some of the questions that emerge from the work created by Hunter, Hudson, and Luckett as they navigate the simultaneous invisibility and hypervisibility of Black bodies.
The Small Black Museum: Vol. II
George Washington Carver Museum
1165 Angelina St, Austin, TX 78702
No tickets or reservations required
This exhibit is free and open to the public during the following days/hours:
Wednesday April 12: 10-6pm
Thursday April 13: 10-9pm
Friday April 14: 10-6pm
Saturday April 15: 10-4pm
This will also be a part of the Art Cruise that starts Saturday at 2pm