As a participant in the 2021 Guggenheim Summer College Workshop, I created a research project investigating Bluegrass music as archival documents preserving Appalachian History. Keeping this project hyper-local, I met with the leadership of the New Mountain Opry in Signal Mountain, TN. This brief podcast dives into how their organization builds community and continues the history of Appalachia and Bluegrass. This podcast, along with a transcript, will be published by the Guggenheim in an online text.
The final project for American Art Civil War - Civil Rights was an opportunity to create something more unique than a typical final essay. In this exhibition proposal, self-taught artists Howard Finster, Sister Gertrude Morgan, and Purvis Young are united by their Christian faith. Each artist was working during the 1970s, just after a major shift in American history with the end of the Civil Rights Movement. Their subject matter and calling to art through faith unite them together for a powerful exhibition proposal. In addition to the proposal, there is a draft of the space provided through ArtSteps which includes wall texts and a guided tour.
Incorporating both the coursework from Southern Civil Rights Movement and a personal interest in art history, this project investigated how black artists mastered abstraction in the 1950s and 60s. Abstract Expressionism is a movement dominated in art history by white male artists. However, many black artists were able to use this style to subvert discrimination and enter museum collections because the subject matter was not inherently tied to their racial identity. This short exhibition, shown on ArtSteps, provides a brief look into this history with artists Jack Whitten, Norman Lewis, Alma Thomas, and Sam Gilliam.
For Latin American Art History, the course culminated with a thorough research project that centered around the Chavin artifact Spoon with Profile Face with Ornate Head Decoration. This object was used to dive into Chavin and Cupisnique religious practices surrounding Anadenanthera, a plant based hallucinogen found in Latin America. This essay concludes with the realization that one small object becomes a microcosm of the Chavin religious practices that are still shrouded in mystery to modern art historians and archeologists.