The Body is Memory: An Exhibition of Black Women Artists presents nine exhibits curated by Smith College students enrolled in the course “Introduction to Black Culture”, led by Dr. Flávia Santos de Araújo (Africana Studies Program) in the Fall of 2019.
As a final collaborative project, students selected art works of different genres and media, produced and/or performed by black women/femme artists across the African diaspora.
Each curated exhibit is designed to take the audience to a journey of appreciation and inquiry of different themes and concepts in black cultural production. Each exhibit shows a particular focus of interpretation, creating narratives of embodied histories and memories of the black diasporic experience.
Throughout the semester, the project counted on the guidance of Smith College’s experts. Charlene Shang Miller, Educator for Academic Programs and Museums Concentration co-manager, at the Smith College Museum of Art, helped Dr. Araújo select visual art pieces by black women artists from the Smith Museum’s online database. Her facilitation during our Museum visits, and subsequent counsel, were key for students to learn and develop skills for reading visual culture. Travis Grandy and Mario Valdebenito Rodas, Instructional Technology Specialists, offered us training workshops and mentorship toward building this webpage. We are deeply grateful for their crucial contribution and generous participation throughout the process.
We hope this project offers viewers a balance of delight, inspiration, and fruitful inquiry as they engage with black women’s artistic production. Above all, we want to share our appreciation of black culture as a site of knowledge production, multiplicity, creativity, and beauty.
We invite you to embark on this journey with us!