As mature Black women artists with 40+ years each making and working in visual art disciplines, we have experienced racism, sexism, and now face ageism, in promoting and exhibiting our work. As printmakers and mixed media artists we see the artist book form as a medium to amplify and insert the too often overlooked and silenced voices of Black women into narratives that purposefully exclude us from historical and contemporary times. Our work embraces Black feminism as theorized by artist/art historian Freida High Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis, in which art created by Black women artists depicts the Black woman as:
- subject rather than object
- the exclusive or primary subject
- active rather than passive
- sensitive to the self-recorded realities of Black women
- imbued with the aesthetics of the African continuum—sustaining a personal vision that embraces Afrocentric tastes in color, texture and rhythm (1992, p.476-477)
We offer the artists’ book as a paradigm for telling our stories and inviting BIPOC and other under-represented folx to collaborate with us; using both physical and virtual book forms to tell their stories. This panel discussion centers on the conception and gestation of our current collaborative artists’ book project, Nine Artists|Nine Months|Nine Perspectives: Birth of 2020 Visions within the context of the book as an instrument of resiliency and object of desire for African Americans once denied the right to read, write, and own their narratives. We contextualize our work within a framework that includes historic and contemporary Black women creatives.
Founded in 2008, CABC has been a long time programing partner of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs. This year CABC will be presented as part of Printed Matter’s Virtual Art Book Fair.