Kravets Wehby Gallery, New York, United States 17 Oct 2019 - 16 Nov 2019
Jamea Richmond - Edwards,Fly Whips and Fly Girls, 2019. 8x12 ft. Ink, acrylic, colored pencil, fabric, glitter, rhinestones and mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.
Jamea Richmond – Edwards is pleased to announce Prom Night, a new exhibition taking place at Kravets Wehby Gallery from October 17 – November 16, 2019.
The exhibition will explore the question: Why is prom such a significant rite-of-passage for Black Americana? Richmond-Edwards approaches this coming-of-age ritual as a moment in perpetuity, a portrayal serving as much a marker of life and times of blackness in the 21st century. Richmond-Edwards stages an immortalized appearance of the legacy we will present to the future.
Bearing witness to the elegance and significance of this communal rite-of-passage, Richmond- Edwards’ work incorporates elaborate, intricate layers of paper clothing, retelling the historic impact of black fashion and imagery through one of the most memorable nights of a teenager’s life.
Specific diptychs in the exhibition speak to some of the most memorable moments of prom night and hint to the bilateral perspectives surrounding the event. “Fly Whips and Fly Girls” depicts two decked out prom goers posing against their cars, implying a sense of autonomy. Onlookers cheer from the sideline—referencing the communal aspect of prom. Their home and the night sky is illuminated behind them, and their youthful faces exude pride and confidence in their appearance. Their layered dresses portray the intricacies and significance of this one-night affair. In “Seated Girl on Serpent Thrown with Stink Pink Gators,” a portrait of a young woman on a customary prom throne gives subtle nods to the artist’s Southeastern American heritage. The girl’s pink alligator boots are a marker of the artist’s hometown of Detroit, where they were a fashion staple during the ’80s and ’90s. These presentations of grandeur and beauty are accented by glitter and rhinestones interspersed in mixed-media collages, allowing the subjects to present their eminence regardless of economic or racial stratification.
Jamea Richmond-Edwards graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jackson State University in 2004 where she studied painting and drawing. She went on to earn an MFA from Howard University in 2012. She offers a repertoire of portraits of women drawn using ink, graphite and mixed media collage. Richmond-Edward’s work has garnered the attention of various art critics including in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post’s “Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know”. Richmond-Edwards has exhibited her artwork nationally and internationally including the Delaware Art Museum, California African American Museum, Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, MI and Galerie Myrtis In Baltimore Maryland. Her works are in the permanent collection of private collectors across the country including the Embassy of the United States in Dakar, Senegal. She currently resides in Maryland with her husband and three sons.
An opening reception will take place on October 17 from 6 to 8 p.m.