Figge to host “Is My Black Beautiful?” Symposium Print
News Releases - Art, Galleries & Museums
Written by Susan Horan   
Tuesday, 18 September 2012 13:14

Panel to Discuss Concepts that Define Black Beauty

Davenport, IOWA (September 2012) On Saturday, September 22 the 3-part symposium, “Is My Black Beautiful?” will be held at the Figge Art Museum. Inspired by the exhibition Posing Beauty in African American Culture, this symposium will begin at 1pm with a panel discussion moderated by community leader Bobbie Lastrapes and will include local African American women spanning sixty years in age. The panel participants will be Ashley Anderson, Jackie Foy-Baker, Earnice Hines, Johnnie Marie Woods, Mary Teague and LaDrina Wilson.

The panel will discuss the ever-changing concepts that define black beauty in the context of fashion and time and will reflect on what it means and has meant to be beautiful in the traditional sense and also on a personal level. Audience members will be encouraged to contribute their thoughts and add to the conversation.

Following the panel discussion, participants will visit the exhibition Posing Beauty for an informal tour, led by Figge associate curator Rima Girnius, Ph.D. Following the tour there will be a reception with refreshments and performances by the Imani! Dancers & Studio for Cultural Arts, Inc. The Imani! Dancers is a non-profit Christian arts organization specializing in Afro-modern, lyrical, and creative dance.

Symposium Schedule

1-2 pm          Panel Discussion, Moderator: Bobbie Lastrapes

2-3 pm          Gallery Talk Led by Rima Girnius, PhD, Figge Art Museum associate curator

3-4:30 pm     Reception and informal performances by the Imani! Dancers & Studio for Cultural Arts, Inc

The symposium is free with paid admission or museum membership; museum admission will be reduced to $4 until 2pm on Saturday, September 22. No registration is required. To learn more call Melissa Hueting, director of education, at 563.326.7804x7895 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About Posing Beauty in African American Culture 

Posing Beauty in African American Culture explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts through diverse media including photography, film, video, fashion, advertising and other forms of popular culture such as music and the Internet. Throughout the Western history of art and image-making, the relationship between beauty and art has become increasingly complex within contemporary art and popular culture.

The images in this exhibition challenge idealized forms of beauty in art by examining their portrayal and exploring a variety of attitudes about race, class, gender, popular culture and politics as seen through the aesthetics of representation.

About the Figge Art Museum

The Figge Art Museum is located on the riverfront in downtown Davenport at 225 West Second Street. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays 12-5 p.m.  Thursdays the museum is open until 9pm. Admission to the museum and tour is $7. Admission is free to Figge members and institutional members. To contact the museum, please call 563.326.7804, or visit our website, www.figgeartmuseum.org.

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