A new art exhibit just opened at the University of Maryland to celebrate two trailblazing Black printmakers.
The goal of "Meeting on the Matrix" is to pay tribute to talented Black artists
"I hope people take away from this the contributions of African Americans to art and art history," said D.M. Pearson, the exhibit coordinator.
Pearson is a grad student at UMD, and was part of the class that curated the exhibit. It features two iconic Black woman printmakers, Faith Ringgold and Betye Saar.
We're making it easier for you to find stories that matter with our new newsletter — The 4Front. Sign up here and get news that is important for you to your inbox.
"It was important for us to showcase these two wonderful artists and to give them their flowers," Pearson said.
Both women are now in their 90s, and have made art for decades about topics like family, racial justice, and fighting back against stereotypes.
"Taking up images from the media of someone like aunt Jemima and remaking it, reaffirming it as not so much a stereotype but a marker of Black identity and Black womanhood," said Jordana Moore-Saggese, a professor of American art at UMD.
Many of the works of art also pay tribute to other important Black artists as well, like one piece honoring legendary gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. Another honors the painter Henry Tanner. Visitors to the exhibit can see him first as a young boy, then growing up to be a successful artist.
"This is just phenomenal. It's a dream for me to be able to have my students not only engage in a sort of history of art, but I actually take part in writing that history and that's exactly what they've done.
The exhibit is open in College Park until May. There's also an online version for those who can't make it in person.