Thursday, January 28, 6:30 p.m.
Presented by the Figge Art Museum
Presented in conjunction with the venue's current T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris, the exhibition's artist will be joined by two noted scholars and activists for the virtual program Queering Chronologies, Archiving Identities: A Conversation, a January 28 event devoted to exploration of the exhibit's prominent themes and their implications for society as a whole.
An American visual and performance artist, Dedeaux-Norris uses painting, sculpture, and performance art to create work about racial identity and the simultaneous visibility and invisibility of blackness through cultural appropriation in modern society. Their work critiques the presence of the black body in the history of painting and fine art, and they were listed as among “24 Artists to Watch in 2013” by Modern Painters magazine. In their art practice, Dedeaux-Norris adopts different personae including black academic artist “Tameka Jenean Norris,” and the distinction between artist and persona is frequently blurred in the resulting artworks that are simultaneously autobiographic and dramatized. Dedeaux-Norris is using heir Figge exhibition to establish an artist’s estate and retrospective for recently deceased persona Tameka Jenean Norris, whose entire body of work – including fabric assemblage paintings, videos, music and works on paper – is currently on view on view.
Dedeaux-Norris' practice has recently examined the act and art of archiving and estate building and its implications for a queer, Black, womyn artist navigating academia and the art world. What agency does archiving provide? How is identity stitched together through materiality? If the body and identity are fluid, where are the past, present, and future situated? To explore these questions, Dedeaux-Norris will be joined on January 28 by two scholars and archivists whose work is centered on the Black, queer experience: Mel Lewis, PhD, Chair, Humanistic Studies at MICA and Associate Professor of Black/Ethnic Studies & Gender/Sexuality Studies at Maryland Institute College of Art; and Kerrie Cotten Williams, Manager of Special Collections at DC Public Library.
Originally from Bayou la Batre, Alabama, Dr. Lewis' creative work explores queer of color themes in rural coastal settings. Previously, Dr. Lewis served as Director of the transdiciplinary Center for Geographies of Justice and Associate Professor of Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Africana Studies at Goucher College. Their roles have also included Associate Professor and Director of Ethnic Studies at Saint Mary’s College of California and Interim Executive director of the National Women’s Studies Association. A longtime Baltimore resident, Dr. Lewis completed their M.A. and Ph.D. in Women’s Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park in the area of Bodies, Genders, and Sexualities. They hold an M.S. in Women and Gender Studies with a Public Policy concentration from Towson University and a B.A. in Women’s Studies and Sociology from Goucher College.
Kerrie Cotten Williams is a professional archivist with more than 20 years experience working in both public and academic libraries. She has worked on a managerial level in public research libraries for more than 12 years, and has experience in collection development, archival management, donor relations, grant writing, teaching, and professional training. In addition, Williams participates in public-outreach activities and serves on various boards and committees that relate to the preservation of history and culture.
The Virtual Panel Discussion Queering Chronologies, Archiving Identities: A Conversation is free, but advance registration is required, and participants will receive an e-mail with a Zoom link two hours before the program begins at 6:30 p.m. on January 28. The T.J. Dedeaux-Norris Presents the Estate of Tameka Jenean Norris exhibit will be on display through January 31, and more information on the exhibit and its companion event is available by calling (563)326-7804 or visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.