Manage episode 362535231 series 3328161
In this episode, Eric sits down with Lauren Cross, Ph.D Gail-Oxford Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts at The Huntington. They discuss how she was encouraged to express herself artistically as a young girl and that she comes from a creative family. Her educational journey; interdisciplinary studio art background including photography, different media and installations. How she first became drawn to quilting as an art form; to eventually learn that she comes from a family of quilt makers herself! Her personal work that dealt with the history, gender, hierarchies and dynamics within society.. discovering Gee’s Bend while working on a documentary about quilting. They explore the traditions and social and cultural impact of quilt making in this isolated community; the different styles of quilting — from utilitarian purposes, improvisational and story quilt style that is very prominent in the African American community and the role it played in self-expression and body image. How Cross began curating and her passion for acknowledging, celebrating and creating opportunities for other artists from different backgrounds that deserve a platform including her recent appointment as curator of American Decorative Arts; and The Huntington’s efforts in the desire to bring more artists of color into the collection.
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Guest Bio: Lauren Cross is a curator, interdisciplinary artist and critical scholar whose research has focused on American decorative arts and material culture with a special emphasis on African American traditions. As an interdisciplinary artist, her work has been exhibited and screened across the country. Her first feature documentary, The Skin Quilt Project, was an official selection for the 2010 International Black Women's Film Festival which explored the intersections of skin color politics in African American quilting traditions. Cross is the Founder and Curator of WoCA Projects art gallery in Fort Worth, Texas; a nonprofit arts organization which aims to highlight and support women artists of color and diversify the contemporary art landscape through exhibitions and community arts programming. Lauren has curated exhibitions and art programs throughout the United States and was recently appointed as the new Gail-Oxford Associate Curator of American Decorative Arts where she will develop programs and propose acquisitions, engage in exhibitions and research projects, foster public engagement, and help broaden the collection to include more works by artists of color. Working from The Huntington’s outstanding collection strengths in American folk art, Arts and Crafts, Greene and Greene, and Colonial-era material, Cross will help grow previously underrepresented areas of the collection and shift to a more hemispheric context by highlighting the global exchange between the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Cross earned a Ph.D. in multicultural women’s and gender studies from Texas Woman’s University; an M.F.A. in visual arts from Lesley University; and a B.A. in art, design, and media from Richmond, the American International University in London; and she studied photography and media arts at the University of Texas at Arlington.
About Eric's Perspective: A podcast series on African American art with Eric Hanks — African American art specialist, owner of the renowned M. Hanks Gallery; offers his perspective on African American art through in-depth conversations with fellow art enthusiasts where they discuss the past, present & future of African American art.
For more on Eric's Perspective, visit www.ericsperspective.com
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