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Featured exhibit “reconstructs identity of African-American women”

August 17, 2012
By cnp
Posted in Exhibit

Little Rock artist Delita Martin will present her exhibit "Piecing Together" in September as part of the University of the Ozarks' Artist of the Month Series.

The exhibit, held in the university’s Walton Fine Arts Center, will be on display from Sept. 4-26 in the Stephens Gallery. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 7-8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, in the gallery.

Martin taught printmaking and drawing at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock before leaving the university to open Black Box Press, an open studio print shop in Little Rock. She said "Piecing Together" is a body of work that "reconstructs the identity of African-American women."

"The visual stereotypes of the black woman has led to problematic representations of their roles within community and family structures; thus making it difficult to document their positive contributions within collective systems," Martin said "In these works I have used my experiences as a black woman and artist to speak about women of color. I believe these portraits present a humble, yet very solid awareness of the diversity among women of color."

Martin said that by using a combination of symbols and text, she has created a visual language that allows her to reconstruct the identity of each woman and offer a glimpse into the lives of women who love and have compassion for their men, their fathers, husbands and sons.

"The domestic objects and text seen throughout the work have also become personal symbols that allow for a spiritual connection and sometimes make historical or social references," she said. "I believe that these portraits embody the act of memory; relates to the preservation of the past and constructs meaning for the present."

Martin earned her undergraduate degree in drawing from Texas Southern University before working several years as an independent artist. She later earned a master’s degree in fine arts in printmaking from Purdue University. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and her prints and drawings are included in several private and public collections.

The Stephens Gallery is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. There is no charge for admission.