Already one of the cultural highlights of 2019, Suzanne Jackson's Five Decades Retrospective at the Telfair Museums' Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia (USA), just doubled its considerable impact with officials' announcement of the September 25, 2019, scheduled publication of the exhibition catalog and immediate acceptance of pre-orders for the title.
A highly-regarded but often overlooked visual artist throughout her career, the opening of Jackson's retrospective on June 27 has brought her increasing international recognition and critical acclaim. The new catalog, edited by Telfair Museums curator Rachel Reese, promises to deliver more of the same with powerful text contributions from: iconic artist Betye Saar, Dr. Tiffany C. Barber, Dr. Melanee C. Harvey, Ph.D. candidate julia elizabeth neal, and author-poet-artist Aberjhani.
As pointed out by Shantay Robinson writing for Black Art in America: "Suzanne Jackson is the flower that sprouts up through the crack of the concrete.... Her passion is evident through more than five decades of work. Despite turbulent times, where racism and sexism might have rejected her, she believes in love and beauty. And this belief sustains" (Suzanne Jackson Five Decades of Encouraging Life).
A similar observation can be found in Aberjhani's poem, "Suzannian Algorithm Finger-Painted on an Abstract Wall," composed specifically for the catalog. In it, he notes: "Her Life, like her Love, pulses painted poems/ streaking an abstract wall with impeccable grace."
Reflective of Current Trends
Jackson's work in many ways reflects the historical trends which have developed over the past few years and which are likely to influence world culture for the foreseeable future. Strong correlations to Meaningful relevance to demands for environmental justice, the powerful movement to increase gender equality, intensified advocacy to end racism, and expanding cultural diversity are all easily apparent within her work. Moreover, this relevance and the hard-won recognition of the artist's labors comes during the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, a period when a handful of influential African-American women artists first began to pave the way for future talents like Saar and Jackson.
"I don't think the service which the Telfair Museums has rendered the world by creating the Five Decades Retrospective, and which Suzanne Jackson herself has done by living her vision all these years, can be overstated," said Aberjhani. "We're at a tipping point in history where her visualized insights stand among some of the most valuable tools available for engaging in critical discourses of existential consequence and designing strategies for confronting some of our most urgent social and political challenges."
Jackson's retrospective is currently scheduled to remain at the Telfair Museums Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah until October 13, 2019. To learn about the catalog or pre-order a copy please visit the museum's online shop.
Bright Skylark News Notes
Highly successful contemporary artists such as Banksy and Ai Weiwei have repeatedly demonstrated art's ability to simultaneously celebrate beauty and champion social justice. Citing volatile conditions around the world, American artist Aberjhani has continued the tradition of merging social and political awareness with daring aesthetics in new additions to his "Kaleidoscope Moons for Children Gone Too Soon" and "Breaking the Gridlock of Hate" art series.
The new releases are:
"City of Lights - Kaleidoscope Moon for Children Gone Too Soon Number 6.”
And: "Kiss of the Eclipse - Breaking the Gridlock of Hate Number 4."
Inspiration Behind the Images
no The artist shared this inspiration behind the new works on the product page for "Kiss of the Eclipse - Breaking the Gridlock of Hate Number 4":
"I had stepped back from posting additional images online for this series in order to develop more fully the Kaleidoscope Moons collection. However, I realized how closely the two are connected when I heard a young man lamenting the shooting death of a teen-age rapper and blaming it mostly on 'so much hate in Savannah (Georgia, USA).'
"So I'm now attempting a more balanced approach to the creation of different canvases dedicated to different themes. From my perspective, there can be doubt that one of the most important is convincing ourselves that we can acknowledge disagreements without drawing guns, firing missiles, poisoning diplomats, or shutting down governments."
You can check out the latest Breaking the Gridlock of Hate gallery here: Breaking the Gridlock.
# # #
Bright Skylark News Notes
(International) --Tackling head-on the sensitive issue of children's lives lost to extreme violence, international artist Aberjhani kicked off the 2019 art season with the launch of the provocative new series, "Kaleidoscope Moons for Children Gone Too Soon."
The series successfully combines themes of social and environmental justice with aesthetics of highly-appealing formats and styles to confront one of the most disturbing concerns of modern times. It kicked off with 3 canvases and a special series gallery posted on Fine Art America/Pixels. The gallery can be found on this page: Kaleidoscope Moons.
The posted canvases are numbered but each also has an individual title. Number 1 is "Ascension," number 2 ", and number 3 "Intensified." Product pages each carry a description of the specific artwork but also contain the following description by the artist of the new series:
THE STORY BEHIND THE SERIES
"During the holiday season some years ago, I lost a niece and nephew to extreme violence and chose to honor their lives by naming a Christmas tree after them. It was my way of gifting them the joy of which they had been robbed. The new Kaleidoscope Moons Series is an extension of that tradition in honor of children lost to such violence around the world as we move forward into 2019. It is also an expression of standing in solidarity with families who have endured these losses as they adjust to something from which they are unlikely to ever fully recover. Therefore, in lieu of a Christmas tree: the Kaleidoscope Moons Series.
“Specifically: The news out of Houston, Texas (USA) was particularly gruesome upon learning that 7-year-old Jazmine Barnes had been shot and killed while in a car with her family the morning before New Year's Eve. Her mother, LaPorsha Washington, was also shot but survived along with 3 other daughters. In my hometown of Savannah, Georgia, an up-and-coming 17-year-old rapper named Tyrese Carter and a 20-year-old named Jamar Davis Jr. were shot dead within 24 hours after the New Year got underway.
“The family of one gun violence victim, former university student Rebecca Foley killed 6 years ago in Savannah, announced plans to fight back. They are suing, to the tune of $35 million, the owners of the apartment complex where Ms. Foley was killed for the "inadequate security" they feel contributed to her death.
“Obviously art cannot bring back any of our loved ones lost to senseless violence. But for those who did not get their chance to establish mega-stardom and document their passage on this journey we call life, the Kaleidoscope Moons Series can testify on their behalf. It can proclaim they were here and their lives were as deserving of celebration and remembrance as anyone's."
# # #
Bright Skylark Artnotes