Collective Conjure: The Shape of Memory

Wilna Julmiste Taylor, Anya M. Wallace, Courtney Desiree Morris, & Sara Stefana Smith

November 6 to December 7

Courtney Desiree Morris, PhD, Assistant Professor, African American Studies & Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Liberal Arts, PSU

Wilna Julmiste Taylor, M.S., Creative Expression Program Coordinator Office of Immersion Resources Vanderbilt University

Sarah Stefana Smith, Phd, Postdoctoral Fellow of Academic Diversity, American University

Anya M. Wallace, PhD Candidate, Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies & Art Education, Arts & Architecture, PSU

The Collective Conjure is an experimental group bringing together four artists from the Penn State community whose work explores ideas surrounding the sacred, the profane, ritual, and spirituality in the African Diaspora. The group uses art to examine ways black women across the Black Atlantic engage in acts of conjuring as both a social and sacred practice. The work explores the making of memory and forging cherished spaces that are embedded in the everyday workings of black social life. This exhibition considers the various methodologies used by artists to examine the production of shared social memory and to cultivate new modes of representing diasporic cultural practices.

The exhibition will contain four unique and yet interconnected displays: a short film, photo-based weavings, paintings, and photographs. Each work relates to the central theme of spirituality in black women. 

Collective Conjure will be on view from November 6—December 7, 2018.  The artists will host an opening reception with a salon conversation as well as an artmaking workshop.   The opening reception and discussion, held on Tuesday, November 13 from 4:00—6:00 PM with a Q&A to follow, will explore artistic processes and the ways in which black women take charge of their stories, telling them from their own perspectives.  The workshop, held on Tuesday, November 27 from 1:00—2:00 PM, will guide visitors in the creation of their own artistic responses with: watercolors, pigeon mesh used for sculpting, collage materials, and drawing paper. Workshop attendees will be invited to create artwork that signifies taking of control of one’s own narrative and creating cherished memories in the process.  Artwork that visitors create will remain on view through the end of the exhibition.

Opening Reception & Salon Talk

Tuesday, November 13 | 4:00–6:00 PM Q&A to follow

Conjure Collective Art Practice and Creating Workshop

Tuesday, November 27| 1:00–2:00 PM

Collective Conjure members will offer an art-making workshop on “making narrative.” Workshop attendees will be invited to create artwork that signifies taking of control of one’s own personal narrative. The workshop is free, open to the public and appropriate for all ages. No art-making experience is required.