Diaspora

'Lift Your Spirits' opens Feb. 3 at William King Museum of Art – Kingsport Times News

Haitian Drapo Art Flags honor the spirits and beliefs of the individual artists themselves, while instilling a sense of hope, protection and esoteric divinity.
Haitian Drapo Art Flags honor the spirits and beliefs of the individual artists themselves, while instilling a sense of hope, protection and esoteric divinity.
ABINGDON, Va. — The McGlothlin Exhibition Series at William King Museum of Art will present “Lift Your Spirits: Nurturing the Human Spirit Through Creativity” at William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Virginia, from Feb. 3 through May 29.
The group exhibition celebrates the cathartic effect and the power that creativity can have on us when we engage in it and allow ourselves to be creative. The exhibition investigates several questions. Why do we create? Why are we drawn to art enough to construct it and collect it? In what ways does art aid us in our own catharsis?
Surrounded by thousands of hand-cut butterflies, visitors will experience the fully immersive and calming installation of Christina Laurel’s work “Refugium.” A refugium is a specific environment in which a species can survive, whereas outside this environment it cannot. Laurel notes, “Key to our survival is refuge within an oasis of calm, a counter-balance to the sensory bombardment of our daily lives.” Refugium is intended to be such an oasis.
Charles Clary also uses hand-cut paper to explore emotion by channeling grief into conceptual and meticulous works of art. His elegantly framed works entice the viewer with childhood memories of walls adorned with family photos, and yet the sculptural worlds that emerge and recede in each frame tell a different story.
One collector’s acquisition of “Haitian Drapo Art Flags” honors the spirits and beliefs of the individual artists themselves, all the while instilling a sense of hope, protection and esoteric divinity. The narratives within each beaded flag offer a coalescence of religious tradition and contemporary art practice.
Elsewhere in the exhibition, deeply inspired by the masters, Demond Melacon works solely with needle and thread to sew glass beads onto canvas. He has developed a contemporary art practice using the same beading techniques he’s applied over the past 28 years as a Black Masker. Melancon’s work is used as a tool to mine topics such as stereotypical representations of Black identity. His work reflects his interest in storytelling and redefining the notions of portraiture.
For those interested in a closer look at the work and its meaning, the museum’s “Tours at Two” event — a free curator-led tour of the exhibition — will be held March 20 at 2 p.m. To reserve your spot, call Anna Buchanan at 276-628-5005, ext.106.
Learn more about upcoming exhibitions online at williamkingmuseum.org or call 276-628-5005.
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