A Homecoming is more than just returning back to a home. Its the energies and Spirit, of the people you met. . .at home. It’s the treasured memories that were created, in order to make home away from home. And seeing what is going on at home can be filled with many surprises.
So, arriving at Spelman College on May 2, 2019, I took a tour of one of many rooms of the home. And, on that day, I spent time with Amy.
For Black American people, image was, and is, very important. So important that healthy depictions of our own existence have been one of our numerous tools of safeguarding our mental psyche. Observing paintings, photographs, and overall social celebrations. Those healthy and elegant images of how we, as Black American people, saw (and continue to see) ourselves, serve as living proof, that even in slavery, we saw ourselves differently. It defeats the notion, or racist notion, that Black Americans were infatuated with slavery. It means that many of us saw ourselves as beautiful; having great pride in the myriad of cultures we had produced.
Entering into the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art on that day, was one house, within the Homecoming. Seeing Spiritual, artistic footprints of Amy Sherald was a healing experience, in itself. Painter of the First Lady Michelle Obama painting for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., I was nourished from her creativity coming to visit a Black American garden; one birthed in US soiling. These familial, loving images of Black American people, throughout generations of time, continue to remind us of our humanity. Despite the narrative of missing 2 from the fullness of our humanity, we were, and still are, human. We tell our narrative. We paint our image and culture into being. We also paint, and craft, the continuation of our existence. Let’s not forget that our creativity and art, as Black Americans, is the proof that we are people. Further explainations are unneeded.
Walking around the space, in my moments with Amy, I felt lightness wrap around my feet. I could feel gentility and calm; as if Beings were singing from the Universal heavens. It is like these people were here-watching and observing who would truly understand the depth of their presence. Who would respect it, based on how they moved throughout the museum? When two routy characters of a common sound had departed from this artistic temple, I was relieved. For it meant that peace would blanket the area, and that silence would prevail. Its one of those anecdotes, needed in sacred spacing. And, it assisted me in how light walked across the place. There would be no disturbance of the sacredness of this energy.
Those moments of being with the fruits of Amy’s visual garden was a mental cleansing in my psyche. Those moments were mental restorations in the existence-physical and cultural-of Black American people. That we have culture-a myriad of culture, in fact. Black American people have a legacy, a her/history. We are the foundation, authentic alchemy, and logarithm of the United States of America. And let that stand as written.
I am sure that the exhibition (and the Spelman College Museum of Art) serves as a relaxation incumbent for those looking to escape stresses of staff, faculty, and student responsibilities at the college and university levels. It’s a real treasure to come into a place, where one must be still, in order to listen.
Glacing around to observe the different Beings, Black American maidens, mothers, fashion divas, young men, and children were represented. Symbolisms that Black America’s future will continue. There was illumination within my Spirit. Seeing images of my feminine, cultural Being as vibrant and adored. Of course this is normal in Atlanta, Georgia. However, when you are a young, Black American maiden (as myself), who has been out of her garden (in a foreign nation), you find yourself in awe, once you have returned. You are baptized, all over again. Refreshed in the sacredness of your womanhood and humanity.
The first piece I came across of Amy Sherald’s exhibition was that of Mother and Child. Immediately, my first thought was of the Black Madonna and Child. For Black American people, the restoration of Black American mothers (the culture they have birthed in these United States of America) is a drastic change of physical and spiritual euphoria. And through her, with each generation and era, we are re-born.
The exhibition of Amy Sherald’s work at Spelman College’s Museum of Fine Art was not just a presentation. It is more than an exhibition. On the contrary, it is a living reckoning. A testament to what happens when a people, who were treated less than animals (in a land not of their own culture) decide to create or re-paint perceptions of their own tale, for a mental release. . . of heaven’s bliss.
Note: All photographs taken of the exhibition works by Amy Sherald, at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art from January 31-May 18, 2019, are not for commercial use or purposes. Edits made of the pictures taken are not intended to miscontrue the original work of Amy Sherald, but to showcase the view of the writer and her unique experience of creative and illuminating perception of the exhibition. For more information on the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art, and future events, you may see the information, below: