thank you, black materials
March 14 - May 6, 2022
Western Oregon University, Cannon Gallery of Art
Monmouth, OR

thank you, black materials swirls in gratitude for the lifeworlds of Black material life as expressed within works by six contemporary Oregon-connected artists of African descent. In sculpture, textile, painting, print, and film, the exhibit calls to sensorial awareness the knowledge, knowing, immaterial, and material practices of these artists and what they choose to surface, hold, embed, obscure, divine, and reveal. Inspired by artist-curator Intisar Abioto’s research into the history of Black artists in Oregon, the exhibition features work by Nikesha Breeze, Rob Lewis, sidony o’neal, Ni Abioto, Ebin Lee, and Jeremy Okai Davis.

As artist-curator, thank you, black materials is informed by a sense of spatial-temporal movement and place-being brought to my sense and awareness through ongoing research movements of listening, seeking (and being sought by), finding (and being found by) gathering (and being gathered by) works and materials from, of, and by Black artists moving within, beyond, and against this Oregon-deemed landscape across generations.

It is a reference point/ing for the still shifting awareness being brought through what the materials settle and unsettle. I find a spatialized listening, an echo locating itself and locating me. The landscape lands. The lives and lifeworlds of Black artists who have moved and created within the Oregon landscape over time inform. Here, Sankofic, as always, we reach forward and get us.

Through engaging these materials - works, prints, text, textile, conversations - passing and having passed through our hands and memories, an ongoing presence, a history and present of memory is revealed.

We recognize the lives of our material works as sites and situations of memory, creation, and re-creation pooling from, alongside, and towards long memory/ings, long longings, and long inventing traditionings, posit/ionings, of Black livingness and creation..
passing and persisting throughouts, insisting sweetly on itself through times. 

The movement here is one of thanks, of reference to and reverence for the material life and the artists individually, and collectively, bringing their works forward.
Here ...  thanks.

thank you,
black materials

Intisar Abioto
March 9, 2022

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