Sonya Clark has been Chair of the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Richmond, Virginia since 2006. Formerly she was Baldwin-Bascom Professor of Creative Arts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She holds an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art and in 2011 she was awarded their first Mid-career Distinguished Alumni Award. She also holds a BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA from Amherst College and in 2015 was awarded an honorary doctorate. She is the recipient of several awards including an Art Prize Grand Jurors co-prize in 2014, a Pollock-Krasner Grant, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Fellowship in Italy, a Red Gate Residency in China, a Civitella Ranieri Residency in Italy, an Australian National University Residency, an 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, a 2011 United States Artist Fellowship, and an Art Matters Grant. Her work is in the collections of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Art, Musees d’Angers in France among several other institutions. Sonya has exhibited her work in over 300 museums and galleries in Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Italian Vogue, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, and Huffington Post.
The works of Sonya Clark will be featured in an exhibition of by acclaimed women artists of color from across the nation. This will be an extraordinary experience of exceptional beauty, strength, vision.
Artist Gray Lyons is a contemporary photographer that uses a 19th-century monochrome photographic printing process called cyanotype. As the name suggest, the process creates cyan-blue images that are both ethereal and hauntingly beautiful.
My images are narrative-based self-portraits, focusing on issues of identity. These photographs are an examination of the female body and the self. It is my intention to unify the functioning and experiential body and the remnants of the body’s story. The body as an instrument of exploration grants a point of entry to its history, memory, and experience. Using the figure directly to make the artwork lessens the distance between the process and the completed object. Through investigating its surface and boundaries, I interrogate desire, compulsion, imagination, gender and ritual. These enactments are a way to understand an experience through the use of the body rather than the use of the mind – a physical resolution rather than an intellectual one. The purpose of the work is to use the body to describe a set of narratives, personal and historical, actual and imagined. In my photographs, I seek to interpret and reframe these narratives, in an effort to expand the dialogue that surrounds the female body.
— Gray Lyons
Fayetteville State University will be the site of the annual conferences of National Alliance of Artists from HBCUs and the National Conference of Artist. The NAAHBCU will convene its 16th Annual National Conference and the National Conference of Artists, established in 1959, has held over 45 national and regional conferences since there founding in Atlanta.
Both organizations are devoted to nurturing young talent and giving established artists a showcase for their works. Equally, important is preparing the next generation of curators and art historians to present and preserve the diverse artistic legacy of visual artists from the African Diaspora. In connection with this joint conference will be two exhibitions—one for established artists from the membership and another for students.
Members of the NAAHBCU will submit original traditional and contemporary visual art works in response to the conference theme — Into the New Millennium: New Media Abstractions and Identity Politics. This exhibition explores the contemporary aesthetic used to examine, interrogate and re-imagine dominate cultural narratives of Black experiences across the Diaspora. New Media Abstraction infuses contemporary elements of the visual arts and other media, such as music and pop culture.Works by students from NAAHBCU member institutions will be on display.
National Alliance of Artists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities Exhibition
Into the New Millennium: New Media Abstractions and Identity Politics
October 1 – November 19