Bellevue Arts Museum

Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power

Episode  52:  “I wanted to make art where the viewer wouldn’t walk away, he’d get pulled into history, into fiction, into something totally demeaning and possibly very beautiful.”  -Kara Walker

Kara Walker has created art that is unquestionably provocative, challenging and thought-provoking. Her silhouette images present the brutality of slavery in a way that is both demeaning and beautiful.

Brooke talks with Jennifer Navva Milliken of the Bellevue Arts Museum in Bellevue, Washington about Emancipating the Past: Kara Walker’s Tales of Slavery and Power, which runs through November 27, 2016.  Milliken gives a brief biography of Kara Walker and explains the challenges and rewards involved in curating this powerful and moving exhibition.

kara walker1

Kara Walker
African/American edition 22/40, 1998
Linocut. 44 x 62 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation
Photo: Frank Ross

kara walker 2

Kara Walker
The Emancipation Approximation (Scene #18), edition 7/20, 1999-2000
Screenprint. 44 x 34 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

 

The Emancipation Approximation

Kara Walker
The Keys to the Coop, edition 39/40, 1997
Linoleum block. 46 X 60 1/2 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

 

The Keys to the Coop

Kara Walker
The Keys to the Coop, edition 39/40, 1997
Linoleum block. 46 X 60 1/2 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

 

An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters- Savant,

Kara Walker
An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters: Savant, edition 19/30, 2010
Etching with aquatint, sugar-lift, spit-bite and dry-point. 27 X 17 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)- Confederate Prisoners Being Conducted from Jonesborough,

Kara Walker
Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated): Confederate Prisoners Being Conducted from Jonesborough, edition 21/35, 2005
Offset lithography and screenprint. 39 X 53 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

Featured Image:
Kara Walker
An Unpeopled Land in Uncharted Waters: No World, edition 19/30, 2010
Etching with aquatint, sugar-lift, spit-bite and dry-point 27 X 39 in.
Photo: Courtesy of the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation

 

Strategies for Survival

Episode 48:  Arts and Crafts. Folk Art. Queer Art. An homage to tradition. A political statement.  Commentary on the Art world. At first Bren Ahearn’s cross stitch samplers seem to lend themselves to simple and straightforward labels.  But on closer examination these works defy and transcend these labels, sometimes with wit and sometimes with depth of meaning.

The Bellevue Arts Museum in Washington state is presenting a selection of Ahearn’s needlework in Strategies for Survival, an exhibition which will run through January 15, 2017.  Brooke talked to curator Stefano Catalani about the history of needlework and its place, or lack of place, in fine art circles.  Catalani also provided insight into the various ways Ahearn’s pieces have been interpreted and received.

when i refuse to fightBren Ahearn, Sampler 1, Photo: Allison Tungseth

when daddy dresses me...Bren Ahearn, Sampler 2 Photo: Allison Tungseth

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bren Ahearn, Sampler 2, Photo: Kiny McCarrick

Featured Image:  Bren Ahearn, Sampler 5, Photo: Kiny McCarrick

All images used with permission