Saturday, April 14, 2007

Special Exhibition Gallery

After reading the short story "Everyday use" from an African American author, Alice Walker, Tom organized a trip for our class to the Palmer Museum in the Penn State University last Tuesday. His wife, Ann, escorted eight of us to the exhibition gallery entitled Family Legacies. Ann, an artist, is a volunteer in the museum. She patiently explained one master piece following by another master piece in great details. I learned a lot of new information fromn her explication. The gallery exhibits the art of mother Betye and daughters Lexzley and Alison Saar who share passion for transforming found objects and materials in their richly evocative art. Influenced by their mixed-race heritage, (African American, European, and Native American), the three artists explore issues related to family, identity, race, and gender. In one of the art piece showing two girls, one with white skin and black straight hair, another with black skin and black curly hair, Lezley Saar wrote "I find contradictions more interesting than looking at the world in terms of black and white."

  • A votive candle is a small, typically white or beeswax yellow, candle, originally intended to be burnt as a votive offering in a religious ceremony.
  • Snowball's chance in hell: No chance at all, as in He hasn't a snowball's chance in hell of getting there in two hours. This idiom, nearly always used negatively, alludes to the traditional view of hell as extremely hot, causing snow to melt at once.
  • Elizabeth Keckley, a black woman, was Mrs. Lincoln's seamstress.
  • Thomas Jefferson had a mistress after his wife died. His mistress was a black woman and they had a daughter named Harriet Hemings.
  • Mulatto: a term of Spanish or Portuguese origin usually describing a person with significant amounts of both white European and black African ancestry.
  • Book: In Darkest Africa, by Henry M. Stanley

Sunday, April 01, 2007