Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America has been extended by popular demand! Learn More
Join us at the African American Museum in Philadelphia for a very special evening with renowned artist Alison Saar, in conversation with AAMP’s Vice President of Curatorial Affairs, Dejay B. Duckett as they explore Alison’s past, future and present work including her current full room installation for Rising Sun: Artists in an Uncertain America at PAFA, Hygiea.
About the Work:
“Saar’s Hygiea, titled after the ancient Greek goddess of health, is a monument to those who labor and risk their lives cleaning and maintaining in moments of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The figurative sculpture at the center of this installation draws inspiration from Gordon Parks’ American Gothic, Washington, D.C. (1942)—a portrait of charwoman Ella Watson—and from the story of Oseola McCarty—a domestic worker whose life savings provided scholarships for Black students at the University of Southern Mississippi. The figure also references Yemaya, the Yoruba goddess of cleansing and healing. Her double-headed broom is “not only for sweeping away dirt,” Saar explains, “but also [for sweeping away] sickness and malignant spirits.” Saar’s installation brings to light the efforts of domestic workers, janitors, and charwomen whose work is often taken for granted and emphasizes the centrality of their labor in facilitating the metaphorical rise of the sun.”
About the Artist:
Alison Saar is a sculptor, mixed-media, and installation artist. Saar creates artwork transforming found objects that reflect themes of social identity, history, and religion. Saar credits her mother, acclaimed collagist and assemblage artist Betye Saar, with exposing her to metaphysical and spiritual traditions. Assisting her father, Richard Saar, a painter and art conservator, in his restoration shop inspired her learning and curiosity about other cultures. Saar’s style includes a multitude of personal, artistic, and cultural references that reflect the plurality of her own experiences. Her sculptures, installations, and prints incorporate found objects including rough-hewn wood, old tin ceiling panels, nails, shards of pottery, glass, and urban detritus. The resulting figures and objects become powerful totems exploring issues of gender, race, heritage, and history.
Friday, October 6, 2023
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
African American Museum in Philadelphia
$10 General Admission – Free for AAMP and PAFA Members!