Date of Award

5-10-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Department

Art and Design

First Advisor

Pamela Longobardi

Second Advisor

Matthew Sugarman

Third Advisor

Shannon Morris

Fourth Advisor

Lynn Marshall-Linnemeier

Abstract

The Devout Griot, Emotional Keeper evaluates place, tradition, storytelling, and the experiences of African-American women to develop imaginative dialogues and alternative strategies for self-imaging by uprooting social proscriptions and challenging political norms. Within this installation, the paintings, performance, and monumental sculptural figures create an environment of ritual and memorial, depicting amalgamated new gods and mythical figures whose lives have been impacted by systemic inequalities, resulting in counter and

re-imagined narratives that, at times, live within the duality of physical and spiritual worlds. This work also explores the historic and contemporary social concerns of hybrid cultures through the gaze of the African-American female progenitor and multimedia exploration to analyze how composite cultures have often been rendered invisible, their identities denied.

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