Artist: Shanequa Gay | Location: Atlanta, GA
her spirit will be our guide on the way
December 4 - March 6, 2021
This show will open on Friday, December 4th from 5-8PM. Enjoy the first look at the exhibition and chatting with the artist over drinks and appetizers. After opening night, Jones-Carter Gallery will be open each week Tuesday-Saturday from 11AM-5PM with free admission. Hear from the feature artist below:
Learning to (re)member the things we’ve learned to forget is to also recognize in cultural memories the work of the spiritual, the energy that enables us to create something new, different, necessary. That is the work of a spiritual activism that (re)members.
~ Cynthia B. Dillard
The most honored member of a tribe is its griot or storyteller as they are believed to be the keepers of memory. Through mask making, fabric design and wall paintings I am holding memory for Breonna Taylor, Korryn Gaines and Sandra Bland. Using the bold bright colors and pattern references from Dutch wax print along with the hidden layers of meaning and symbology translated through patchwork quilts, a medium most affiliated with making do with what you have to create covering and safety, each frame is assembled together to share a cohesive narrative of loss and restoration. Watermelon seeds, cowrie shells, braided hair, sparrows and Black-Eyed Susans encode symbolic knowledge and covert social protest for freedom, power, femininity, spirituality, community, protection, cleansing, continuity and deep trust. From an indigenous worldview, during times of civil unrest and momentous change seeking to commune with the animal world or outer realm to engage with the human world or inner realm can serve the purpose of radical transformation. By amalgamating these women with animal forms, I seek to participate in the ritual of shapeshifting and to engage with the supernatural for the purpose of community healing and social justice through spiritual activism.
Shanequa Gay, an Atlanta native, received her AA in Graphic Design and Fashion Marketing from the Art Institute of Atlanta (1999), a BA in Painting from The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), summa cum laude (2015), and an MFA at Georgia State University. Gay was one of ten selected artists for OFF THE WALL a city-wide Mural initiative led by WonderRoot and the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee (2018). In 2013, Gay was chosen by The Congressional Club to be the illustrator for the First Lady's Luncheon hostess gift for First Lady Michelle Obama. Gay's work includes features in the Lions Gate film Addicted, the BET television series Being Mary Jane and Zoe Ever After, and the OWN series Greenleaf. Solo exhibitions include the Hammonds House Museum, Atlanta, GA (2015); Anne O Art Gallery, Atlanta, GA (2016); Wofford College, Spartanburg, SC (2017); Mary S. Byrd Gallery, Augusta University, Augusta, GA (2018); Sumter Gallery of Art, Sumter, SC (2018); and Milliken Gallery, Converse College, Spartanburg, SC (2018). Group exhibitions include Xhibiting Blackness, Evolve the Gallery, Sacramento, CA (2014); WonderRoot CSA: Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GA (2015); Personal Politics: Artist as Witness, Memory Keepers, & Social Conscience, Hudgens Center for the Arts, Duluth, GA (2016); New Painting, The Southern Gallery, Charleston, SC (2016); 5 Perspectives, Steffen Thomas Museum, Buckhead, GA (2018). Residencies include Independent Study, Iwakuni, Japan (2014); The Creatives Project Artist-in-Studio Program, The Goat Farm Arts Center, Atlanta, GA (2015-2017); and Baldwin's Room Artist in Residence, Johannesburg, South Africa (2017). Public Collections include The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), Sham Shui Po, Hong Kong; The Georgia Cyber Innovation and Training Center, Augusta, GA; The Chattanooga African American Museum, Chattanooga, TN; and Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, Atlanta, GA; and Oglethorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA.Artist Website