Material Matters


in partnership with the Fitchburg Art Museum


March 17 through April 24, 2022

Public reception: Friday, March 18, 6:00 to 9:00 PM

For the last decade, ArtsWorcester and the Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) have partnered on an annual “Call and Response” exhibition, an idea drawn from democratic and musical traditions in African and African Diaspora cultures. FAM begins with the call: a loan of ten artworks from their permanent collection, all on a single theme. The first "Call and Response" loan featured ten pieces from FAM’s extensive African collection, which was, at the time, primarily traditional crafts and ritual objects. Ten years later, FAM now holds a rich array of contemporary African and Diasporic artists. The 2022 loan features a range of subject matter and media, reflecting the capacity and diversity of different materials within African art.

ArtsWorcester artist members were invited to respond to one or more of these pieces for Material Matters, and examine the role materiality plays in their creations. The resulting exhibition features work by seventy-six artists, whose works encompass new media, traditional forms, and fine craft. FAM's curatorial staff will select ten works from Material Matters to be exhibited at the Museum alongside the 2022 loan. Selections will be announced in person at the reception and electronically, and will go on view at the Fitchburg Art Museum later this year. To date, seventy-seven individual artists have received this honor.

Ten percent of art sales from Material Matters will be donated to African Community Education (ACE). These funds and any direct donations made to ACE as part of this exhibition will be directed to the ACE Post-Secondary Success Fund. The Post-Secondary Success Fund provides direct financial support to ACE students graduating high school each year. Funds will be evenly and directly distributed to each graduate who will work with ACE’s Post-Secondary Success Liaison to use the funds in a way that best helps them achieve success upon graduation.

Announcing the selected artists of Material Matters

We enthusiastically congratulate these ten artists:

Stephen Bergeron, African DNA
(granite and grout on cement)

Esther Clark, Ofertas
(mid-range stoneware and homemade layered glazes)

Jennifer Davis Carey, I’m Ready
(vitreous enamel on copper)

Kristi DiSalle, Maternal Geometry
(alcohol markers, colored pencil, and oil pastel on card stock)

Gloria Goguen, Women’s Work: We Are All Connected By A Fine Thread
(mixed media: colored pencil, acrylic, kimono, silk, thread)

Casey Hickey, #Witchcraft
(linoleum block monoprint)

Abu Mwenye, Beauty in the Beads Series
(acrylic mixed media on canvas)

Lisa Shea, Ukraine
(multi-exposure photography)

Suzanne Stumpf, Relic
(porcelain sculpture)

Robin Tost, Old Goat
(salvaged metal scrap)

We thank our friends and partners at the Fitchburg Art Museum for sharing their collection so generously with our artists.

ArtsWorcester exhibitions are sustained in part by the generous support of the C. Jean and Myles McDonough Charitable Foundation.

Header image: Stephen Paulson, Brooks, found objects, 29" x 18" x 7", 2019, $580


During exhibitions, ArtsWorcester's gallery hours are Thursdays through Sundays, 12:00 to 5:00 PM. Our galleries are always free and open to the public.

ArtsWorcester's main galleries are located at 44 Portland Street in downtown Worcester.

Effective immediately, and through the public reception of Material Matters on March 18, 2022: Proof of vaccination and up-to-date boosters is required for entry. Masks should be worn unless eating or drinking.

Beginning Saturday, March 19, 2022: For those with proof of vaccination, masks are encouraged and appreciated. For those without proof of vaccination, masks remain mandatory.

These policies are subject to change, based on current public health data and metrics.

Parking is available at the Worcester Public Library (McGrath) Lot, Federal Plaza Garage, Worcester Common Garage, and Pearl-Elm Garage. Metered street parking is also available.


The first Call and Response loan featured ten pieces from FAM’s extensive African Collection, all traditional crafts and ritual objects. A decade later, their collection has grown to include contemporary African artists as well. The 2022 loan features a range of subject matter and media, reflecting the capacity of different materials within African art.


Keri Anderson


Male/Female Chiwara Diptych

oil on canvas, 32" x 20", 2022, $700

Inspired by: Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

"My artwork present the male and female traditional Chiwara headdress. Agriculture drives this society. The Chiwara antelope symbol shows equality between the sexes as they stare into each others eyes in hopes that though ceremonies and rituals will bring them good agricultural fortune. Their placement and gaze is shows that they both want the same thing on an equal level."

Taylor Apostol


List Maker

terra cotta, acrylic paint, wax, ink, pencil, flock, 17" x 15" x 13", 2020, $7,500

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup; Potter, Medicine Pot

"In my artistic practice I explore ideas of memory, place and form. List Maker is a hand-built painted ceramic vessel that is part of a recent series focusing on familiar household items such as waste bins, grocery lists, CVS coupons, and piles of clothing. Removed from their usual place on the floor, a shelf or forgotten under a dresser, I give them a life of their own. The mass of braided hair interwoven with grocery lists pays homage to the ritual of preparing for food shopping. Over the past two years, careful list making was critical to maximize efficiency while shopping and minimize the number of trips to the store. Additionally, by reframing something ephemeral like braided hair and grocery lists as handmade objects in terra cotta, I ask the viewer to reconsider them for their sculptural, aesthetic and narrative capabilities."

Ann Barrett Hicks



watercolor on paper bowl, 5" x 6" x 6", 2022, $700

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup

"I chose to respond to Cup in the Fitchburg Art Museum’s collection because of the beauty of the designs of the Kuba people. These designs are steeped in tradition, yet elaborated upon by individual artists. The Kuba people consider the amount of time invested in the creation of an object as an intrinsic part of the value of that object.

I made this domed bowl to display a sort of catalog of patterns that I have developed over the years. Paper allows great subtlety and delicacy in expression, and is strong enough to provide structure for this domed bowl made with rice, watercolor and hand-made papers. Hand-made pieces embody the artist’s time, revealing the care, in spite of small imperfections, with which they are created."

Lisa Barthelson


marking lives covid 19, 2021 marks, lab4

monoprint: trace drawing and found objects on inked plexi plate: Charbonnel aqua wash etching ink and oil stick on Rives BFK paper on cradled panel, 36" x 24", 2021, $1,250

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem; Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"As seen in the Fitchburg Art Museum pieces by Bayo Ogundele, Safaa Mazirh, and Nike Davies Okundaye, meditative mark-making can represent humanity, personal history and the lives of individuals. The trace monoprint: marking lives covid 19, 2021 marks, lab4 was made as part of a collaborative community project ‘Marking Lives Covid 19.’ The project was created to bring artists together to recognize lives lost to the covid 19 pandemic in the United States. Each of the 2021 individual marks in this monoprint represent a life cut short. Almost 200,000 had passed due to covid when artists began the project…since that time almost a million lives have been lost in the US with an estimated 6 million deaths worldwide. As the inspiring African artists represent their lives and history through their mark and print making, so does this monoprint represent and honor the lost lives of individuals."

FAM Selection:

Stephen Bergeron

African DNA

granite and grout on cement, 24" x 18", 2017, $2,000

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup

"Early mosaic works expanded the role of grout to meet the needs of composition. That role lends more dimension, contrast, and color to the cut ceramic and stone. Playing with positive and negative space becomes an obvious pursuit. The grout, rather than being merely connective, allows the composition in pattern or figure to act in space, giving both air and weight.

"I moved into painting as my works pursued the figurative. Light becomes an elemental consideration now.

"Aesthetic choices have always been a pleasant diversion, but when condensing one’s effort to make a work fine, a drive, a stamina, and an addictive compulsion come knocking. Strangely, like a forced coma, there comes a wonderful spell that allows the otherwise difficult and fragile process to become possible.

"Works in ’18 and ’19 mostly sought to eliminate all but the essential in abstract minimal composition. Color, line, and space are prominent."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "The attractive patterns of Stephen Bergeron’s African DNA zoom in on what makes the Kuba people cup so beautiful. Bergeron infuses energy and movement into common materials like grout and cement, a wonderful example of the artist’s transformative hand."

Bill Brady

Face Your Distant Destiny

collage: drawing (oil markers, watercolor pencils) and photos, 13 3/16" x 16 1/8", 2022, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Maasai Artist, Necklace

"Atop the robes of a Scottish duchess sits the stone head carved by my wife, the late Mary McLoughlin, adorned with the Maasai necklace. She is shown with her Napoleonic page, our grandson, Gavin Brady McQuarrie. They behold the newly minted Maya Angelou quarter.

“'Face your distant destiny' is from Maya Angelou’s poem 'On the Pulse of Morning.'"

Aaron Brodeur



acrylic, spray paint, canvas, poly-fil, micron pigment, polycrylic, wood, 36" x 36", 2022, $1,150

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Willie Cole, Work Animal; Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

"In the loaned works, three pieces reveal a connective tissue that place significance in the engagement of humans directly interacting with, or bonding to and harnessing properties of animals. Work Animal, Witchcraft, and Antelope headcrest (chiwara) reference these synergies through mythological and spiritual occurrences. Shapeshifter aesthetically draws from common motifs among the loaned works, and thematically alludes to the supernatural events that transpire when a human procures the essence borrowed from animals."

Jennessa Burks



acrylic on wood, 12" x 28", 2022, $475

Inspired by: Masaai Artist, Necklace

Pamela Chiasson


Trust as a Child

mixed media, 20" x 20", 2020, $650

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"My work is about identity, truth, Hope and restoration of who we are. I am a self taught artist whose creativity was born out of need, and, through trauma, I learned to express my voice in healing my heart. My relationship with God is reflected in this piece of trusting all that is and will be in my life. The faces used in this piece are me as a little girl. The piece is calming, full of joy in celebration of God always being with in that we move and breathe and have our being. Trust like a Child.

Safaa’s piece is a reflection of who she is in her heritage with her use of self portrait and creative elements. My piece responds to her in my belief of who I Am… peace and light Pamela."

German Chiriboga


Sueños de Adire - Dreams of Adire

pencil on paper, 10" x 13", 2022, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"Sueños de Adire - Dreams of Adire is inspired by traditional adire eleko prints. Adire eleko patterns inspire storytelling and lived experience. Dreams and their patterns share a powerful parallel with adire eleko."

Digi Chivetta


Mane | Groomed Never Tamed

acrylic paint, yarn, embroidery, and a carved avocado seed on canvas, 36" x 57", 2022, $8,000

Inspired by: Potter, Medicine Pot; Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"In Yoruba Orisa, it is believed that each human’s asè (personal power) resides in a specific part of their body. For the figure in this piece, her asè lives in her head. While her abundant hair is impressive, it is only a symptom of the powerful asè within her head.

My sister did a genetic test and found that we’re predominantly Nigerian. Now, we’re both students at a school of Yoruba Orisa studies. Because of this, I was immediately drawn to the medicine pot and textile from Nigeria. This pot is a shrine for Olokun, an ocean deity; I paid homage to him with the water rushing through the composition. I chose a terra cotta color for the figure because the shrine and I have possibly come from the same earth but have been formed into two very different things yet, somehow, reflective of each other."

FAM Selection:

Esther Clark



mid-range stoneware and homemade layered glazes, 17.75" x 11.5" x 10.5", 2022, $2,000

Inspired by: Potter, Medicine Pot

"Esther Clark’s piece, Ofertas (2022), is a stoneware altar piece in response to Medicine Pot (1980). Ofertas (2022) explores personal primitive beliefs, memories from youth, and imagined ancestry of an Amazonian tribes devotion to a Pink River Dolphin.

Ofertas (2022) is a large vase which can hold water as an offering upon the altar and contains a removable ceremonial topper with hanging pinch pots to hold small ornamental items. Natural cording and handmade stoneware beads were used to suspend the offering cups from the topper. The topper’s form and assembly references celebration and nostalgia which is a recurring theme in Esther Clark’s work.

The large ceremonial vase was hand built using a flattened coil technique and decorated in raised bumps and an intricate carved pattern. The piece was finished in a deep red glaze to represent blood and life and adorned with bursts of blue-green to call upon growth."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Esther Clark shows a complete mastery of technique in Ofertas. Gorgeous glazing and mark making highlight the piece’s dynamic and energetic form, inspired by, but not derivative of, the Nigerian medicine pot. Clark mirrors the familial ceremonial purpose of the medicine pot through her interest in nostalgia and ancestry."

Carrie Crane


Following Stella Through the Tuffets (One)

photo transfer on clayboard, acrylic paint on plexi, hardware, 2022, $300

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"I was immediately attracted to Safaa Mazirh's piece Aouchem and the layering of the chalk lines over the photograph. The overlay of the simple lines mimics the movement of the subject in the photo. I have been working on a series of drawings/paintings that use lines created by following my dog, Stella, as she wanders our field in search of morsels of food tucked into the tuffets of grass by the crows. The line in this piece, much like Safaa's, is a symbol of her movement overlaying tuffets and the suggesting of the geology that lies beneath."

Christine Croteau


Which Witch

ink print with oil pastel, 12" x 15", 2018, $108

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

"This is my response to Bayo Ogundeles “Witchcraft." The witches are hidden in the trees."

FAM Selection:

Jennifer Davis Carey

I'm Ready

vitreous enamel on copper, 14" x 11", 2021, $250

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup

"For the last year or so I have been exploring the textile traditions of African cultural groups. In considering a submission for Call and Response-Material Matters, I was immediately drawn to the cup and the carefully incised geometric lines that are the hallmark of Kuba design, including fabric for both everyday and ceremonial use. I’m Ready was crafted using the vibrant and permanent colors of vitreous enamel. It is informed by classic Kuba design and imagines a person—bold, confident, and ready. for the world."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "In I’m Ready, Jennifer Davis Carey extracts the Kuba people cup’s patterns, bringing them to the figurative realm. Carey’s unique materials, beautiful pops of color, and intriguing use of layering make this sophisticated piece stand out from the pack."

Joseph DiGregorio

Rhythm in Gold

antique stenciled and stained glass, stained glass, patterned glass, recycled glass, copper foil construction, 16" x 23", 2022, $800

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"My work was influenced by Ibadan is Sweet, the Nigerian starch resist dyed fabric. The patterns that are confined to squares on this piece, despite the fact that they are different, contribute to a unifying rhythm that encompasses the work. In my homage to this work, I specifically chose some antique stenciled and stained glass fragments to begin creating the pattern and rhythm in my piece, and built off the colors of that glass to solidify the pattern and rhythm of the window panel."

Alice Dillon


Morning Moment

upholstery thread on cotton fabric, 16" x 20", 2022, $500

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

FAM Selection:

Kristi DiSalle

@kristileighgillustration @kristileighcreations

Maternal Geometry

alcohol markers, colored pencil, and oil pastel on card stock, 12" x 18", 2022, $200

Inspired by: Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

"I was immediately inspired by the piece 'Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)' because of the geometric forms. I started by drawing the antelopes and adding the geometric shapes. I wanted a background that not only represented the animal's natural habitat, but also represented more of the culture. I next decided to use some of the color patterns and circular shapes from the piece 'Maasai Artist, Necklace.' I feel the combination of colors and patterns in both the abstract shapes and more realistic images create a unity between the two original pieces."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Kristi DiSalle’s Maternal Geometry showcases a sweet, intimate scene between mother and child. It takes influence from the striking geometry of the Bamana headcrest, notable in the curvature of the antelopes’ heads and tails. The Maasai necklace-inspired circles contrast with the natural environment, bringing the piece to life."

Kingsley Duodu


Congo’s Peacocks

collage, colored pencil, marker, and acrylic paint on canvas, 11" x 14", 2022, $500

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup; Maasai Artist, Necklace; Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

I picked a peacock because they exist in Congo and their history is very interesting in terms of the black rights movement, which happened way ahead of the time when slavery was going on in Congo. But the resistance of the people and King Afonso not being happy about the capturing of his people is one of the biggest stories you will hear about Congo and their beliefs in working the man. The peacock is a very beautiful to look at when it fans its tail. The five well-known activists in my piece helped abolish slavery and correct racism. They all come from the US and that’s why when you think about freedom you think about Native Americans who relate to Africans due to loss. It’s about evolution of man, African tribal patterns, and the origination of everything. The painting has a Congo flag on it, and it is very diverse, symbolic, and symmetrical.

The Dying Sun


The Omen's Talisman

wire, glass beads, acrylic paint, leather, adhesive paper, 18" x 32" x 18", 2022, $800

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Willie Cole, Work Animal; Maasai Artist, Necklace

"This piece explores the concept of humanity's interest into the unknown. While simultaneously being beautiful, it can change the explorer.

Even for those who do not directly explore the unknown there is a certain intrigue that it's almost taboo. That intrigue is what becomes addictive to those who explore.

As for the material, the wire's innate contours made this piece become more emergent from the forces that needed to be applied to the wires."

Madge Evers


Cleaving-In Five Acts

cyanotype on fabric, cyanotype on paper, wood, thread, 36" x 24", 2022, $1,000

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"Adire eleko is created with indigo dye; the cyanotype process with light sensitive iron salts; both developed in the 19th century. Nike Davies Okunday’s Ibadan Is Sweet focuses on civic pride; Cleaving focuses on family bonds.

The word cleave is a contronym with two contradictory meanings: stick together and split apart, each its own opposite.

Adorned with Cleavers/Galium aparine, a plant with tiny hooks that bind together and that can climb over other plants, the blue dress says, “stick with us child, we'll give you support and work together, as we continue to make our world.” Cleavers represent a child’s natural longing to be separate, as well their potential rejection of familial bonds. As Cleavers grow, they reach for sunlight; on the dress, they provide a reminder that a return to the fold is always possible.

Framed images portray Bleeding Heart, Cleavers, and a family in various acts of cleaving."

Elizabeth Foss

Circles of Kinship

quilted wall hanging, 21.5" x 21.5", 2022, $300

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace

"The necklace by the Maasai artist of Ketumbeine, Tanzania evoked an immediate, emotional response for me. I loved the description of the colors' meanings and tried to think of those things as I worked on the improvisational quilt. I envision the joyfulness of wearing the necklace, and hope that my piece elicits some joy in the viewer."

Sharon Freed

An Earnest Request

digital photography, 16" x 20", 2021, $350

Inspired by: Potter, Medicine Pot

Timothy Gannon


acrylic and oil on canvas, 26" x 18", 2021, $1,000

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?)

FAM Selection:

Gloria Goguen


Women's Work: We Are All Connected By A Fine Thread

mixed media: colored pencil, acrylic, kimono silk, thread, 15" x 30", 2022, $825

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"At the top of my work, I have woven indigo and white patterned motif as in Nike Davies Okundaye’s "Ibadan is Sweet" into a personal pictorial representation of things my mother handed down to me with pride from her Newfoundland, Canada roots. At the bottom of the piece, I have depicted my own landmarks, nature themes and sources of pride from my roots in Massachusetts. in the center, I have utilized Adire Eleko and other historical indigo and white patterns. Combining Nigerian (adire eleko), Dutch (Delft), Japanese (Yuzen-zome), French (Toile) and Chinese (Qinghua) patterns together to form a collection of internationally styled houses. In this piece I am conveying women’s work as keepers of the family’s history, accomplishments, and dreams for the future. Women pass this important knowledge on to the next generation. These homes symbolize the importance of women’s work and the heart of where that begins."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Gloria Goguen’s Women’s Work: We Are All Connected By A Fine Thread perfectly embraces the spirit of Material Matters. Taking inspiration from the Nigerian civic pride expressed in Nike Davies Okundaye’s Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko), Goguen has embraced and represented her own ancestry in mixed media, a departure from the artist’s typical use of colored pencil. The piece pays homage to traditional adire in its alluring color, beautiful composition, and recognition of women’s labor."

Donna Gordon


Deconstructed Antique Figures

collagraph printed on rice paper, 6" x 9", 2021, $1,200

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"Deconstructed Antique Figures is constructed from collagraphs I made after drawing male and female Roman statues on view at Harvard's Art Museum. The idea of their broken and reassembled parts shares something in common with three of the images in the loan, including: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft as a figurative linocut, Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem, for its figurative cry, and possibly Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?). There is something emphatic in the emotions contained in the figures in my print, that I believe echos the emotions in the three I cited in the loan."

Lisa Hayden


Natural Resources

acrylic and iron filings on canvas, 20" x 24", 2022, $600

Inspired by: Chamba or Mumuye people, Currency

"The iron sculpture Currency inspired me to think about the land and how we use its resources. A beautiful natural environment can be used to grow crops, enjoy the wilderness recreationally, or mine iron to build with. The iron material used in the Currency sculpture is reflected by the iron filings used in the painting. Iron is certainly a new material for me to incorporate as a painter and an interesting challenge."

Allie Heimos

Paper Cup

paper ephemera, ink, 3.5" x 5.5" x 4", 2022, $250

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup

FAM Selection:

Casey Hickey



linoleum block monoprint, 8" x 10", unframed, 16" x 20", framed, 2022, $250

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

"This image was created in response to both the material and subject matter of Bayo Ogundele's Witchcraft. The process and materials are intended to be similar, while the theme is reimagined in a contemporary cultural context. The imagery in Ogundele's artwork reflects Yoruba folklore, in which witches may take the form of birds. The bird in the response image #Witchcraft takes the form of the iconic Twitter logo. The practice of storytelling has been decentralized by technology in ways that would have seemed magical until quite recently. The rise of social media has allowed people to make connections in ways that would not have been possible in the past, but may also cause feelings of isolation. For better or worse, the figure in the artwork is bewitched."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Casey Hickey takes a thoroughly modern approach to Bayo Ogundele’s print in #Witchcraft. Hickey’s print features a strong sense of geometry, breaking down an entranced social media user to their essential form."

Nicole Howland


Ritual Priestesses

mixed media: ink, paint, and gold leaf on paper, 11" x 14", 2022, $100 (sold)

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"I chose to respond to Safaa Mazirh's piece, "Aouchem, Corps 2". I was immediately inspired by the palette, the use of three blurred female forms, the symbols and the mysterious knowledge it seemed to contain. My intention was to respond using the same visual language as the artist. Therefore I also used three female forms to create a symbolic pattern- one that may possibly contain ancient mysteries, knowledge and secrets. Since it seems to me that Mazirh's figures are dancing, my figures are engaged in a ritual dance while holding sacred symbols in their hands. Priestesses caring for and harnessing the Sacred Feminine."


mixed-media: cotton and wool fiber, cotton thread, poly-fil, acrylic paint and markers, vintage coins, glue, 13" x 10" x 4", 2022, $750

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

"This work entitled Yaya is a tribute to my great-aunt Candelaria "Yaya" Lanzo, a practitioner of Santeria, the Yoruba religion practiced by Nigerian descendants in Puerto Rico.

Yaya migrated from Loiza, Puerto Rico to Harlem and worked in a factory doing the finishing work by hand, and like me, she never used a sewing machine. Because she consulted Santeros, the priests of the religion, her sisters admonished her for practicing "witchcraft." Like the bird in Oyundele's work, Yaya, "'magically' and swiftly" transitioned at the age of 107.

The sculpture is hand-sewn and molded with cotton and wool fabric. Once stuffed, it is then painted and adorned with found objects, some of which are vintage coins."

Patti Kelly


Behind the Veil

acrylic mixed media, 16" x 20", 2022, $350

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"After careful viewing of all the art works from the Fitchburg Art Museum collection, I chose Safaa Mazirh's Aouchem Corps 2. This piece had minimal lines and yet it had a lot of emotional images hidden with a soft veil like covering. I also love the feeling of softness with the shapes out of focus while the lines are clear and deliberate. My piece, Behind the Veil, has a soft, hazy feeling while the lines are scratched and inked into the paint to create a feeling of strength and a permanent place."

Amanda Kidd Schall


Offering: Moth

ceramic embossed with linoleum block, 4.25" x 3.25" x 2.5", 2021, $200

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup; Potter, Medicine Pot

"When responding to the works Cup, Kuba people and Medicine Pot, Potter, I thought about how the wood and clay used to make the vessels was sourced from the land where the artists were living. The tools that artists use are so personal, we all have a favorite one that we turn to. As a printmaker exploring ceramics, I immediately thought of ways to incorporate my printmaking plates into my ceramic work. The moth and leaf images were carved out of a linoleum block and pressed into the clay. The linoleum blocks that I carve become part of a visual language that is expressed in both my printmaking work and ceramic sculptures."

Christopher King


Inverted Omega (Upsilon)

steel rod, nylon, cotton cord, 9.5" x 7.5" x 4", 2022, $300

Inspired by: Chamba or Mumuye people, Currency

"The idea of a piece of steel as currency is valuing the refining and hot work. It presents value in trade as artwork to be purchased as is or as raw steel to be converted into tools or weapons. The quality of the steel is indicated by the demonstrated formability. The three, twisted pieces of steel making a U-shaped rope body for the two antelope heads may have served as a collar for rolled textiles in pack animal transportation of goods between markets, as metal alone is too heavy for a pack animal. "But mixed with textiles, which are bulky (too bulky to put enough of them on an animal for a profitable trip), the load is well balanced." (Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years, Elizabeth Wayland Barber, 1994, pgs. 167-73). I recreate this shape with steel rod bent into a triangular helix with antlers knotted using waxed cord."

Teresa Lamacchia

Lydia Beyond

oil paint stick, digital photograph collage, and acrylic paint on canvas, 12" x 24", 2022, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"As her presence still resonates in the house, I hope this painting/collage of Lydia illustrates that her spirit resonates in the universe."

Marybeth Lensel



multiple exposure photography, 8" x 10", 2022, $150

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"It was exciting to see work by Safaa Mazirh on display at ArtsWorcester. Through multiple exposures we both use photography to push concept and information. I responded to Safaa's work by intentionally placing a group of homeless people within a landscape that easily distracts the eye from a community problem. My approach uses a red, green and blue filter within three exposures that are layered within one image."

The artist will donate her sales commission to St. John's Food for the Poor Program.

Claire Lima


Bound to Notice

found objects, foraged natural materials, organic and synthetic fibers, 28" x 34" x 12", 2021, $850

Inspired by: Willie Cole, Work Animal; Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

"With consideration to the former lives of the found objects and to the energy they possess, this sculpture aspires to move towards performance and away from object-ness with a sense of curiosity, playfulness and renewed vitality."

Madeleine Lord


Happy Heron

welded steel, 20" x 15" x 7", 2021, $900 (sold)

Inspired by: Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

"The Antelope attitude of content, harmony, uplift inspired this Heron, made from nearby material and dancing to its own drummer."

Luanda Lozano


Pajaro y Luna/Bird and Moon Ritual

etching, chine collé, 11" x 15", 2021, $2,500

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft, Maasai Artist, Necklace

"The anthropomorphic figure and the symbol of the moon in my work address a spiritual connection.

"The delicate etched lines hide a message from the gods maintaining a perfect connection with the material world and drawing the viewer in to reveal surprises, feel emotional power, and subtly concealed content."

Michelle May


Chi Wara Rising

mixed media: acrylic, washi paper, and pen on canvas, 16" x 40", 2022, $500

Inspired by: Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest, Chiwara; Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet, adire eleko; Chamba or Mumuye people, Currency

"Layers, colors, marks and sometimes hidden symbols are alive in my work. My work goes between abstract and representational. Organic materials and textured papers heavily interest me adding dimension and movement. Gold light and a patterned surface evoke symbolic messages. Layers, scraping, rubbing and dripping and deconstructing to make marks feel like the years of history to me. Nature and history are inspirations from which I draw to reflect our humanity in vignettes. Responding to the antelope (Ci Wara) of the Bamana people with distinct bird-like qualities, I was inspired to create a layered animal, rich with patterns and forms full of motion and tall antlers, as it rises out of the earth to respond to current events of our world like a phoenix. Facing a golden sky representing the sun and positivity, I hope viewers can feel the warmth for tomorrow that it symbolizes."

Kayla McLoughlin

L'dor V'dor

mixed media: watercolor, embroidery thread, photography, 8.25" x 10.25", 2022, $350

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"Inspired by Safaa Mazirh's Aouchem, Corps 2. Using a photo of my grandmother, identical twin, and mother (my past, present and future). I embroidered Ogham Script, the ancient runes of Ireland, with me being of Irish decent as Mazirh was of Amazigh descent. The three runes I chose beith (rebirth and renewal in every moment), Saille (knowledge), and Gort (wildness and evolution); all reference my past, present, future, together in harmony, like my loved ones. The green boarder is a reference to the trees and plants Ogham characters represent. The cutouts from the painting show there is still room for growth. "

I Stitched Myself Together

photomontage on Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic paper, 21" x 28", 2022, $500 (sold)

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"I stitched myself together from odds and ends lying around, considered to be better off forgotten. Embedded in this photomontage are stories about people surrounded by silent artifacts from the past. About how when things thought to be better left unsaid are acknowledged, something wonderfully necessary arises from the fresh perspective and heartbreaking distance. The image contains family stories related to WWII, the Holocaust, and its fallout. It is an effort to assimilate and move toward a less fragmented, more unified future. The tree which is the base of the photomontage illustrates our power to bend but not break under the force of prevailing winds and also pays homage to the fragile power of nature. Like Safaa Mazirh's piece, this work is inspired by daily life and family history."

Nana Akua Mensah

A Call to Celebrate

flyer, 6.25" x 5.75", 2021, $1

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko); Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"A CALL TO CELEBRATE life, who offers the ability for one to grow into more of themselves. What will die for you to be more of yourself?"

Parker Milgram


Crawling Dots

acrylic paint, vine charcoal, sumi ink, graphite, colored pencil, crayon, White-Out and opaque watercolor on paper, 8" x 10", unframed, 11" x 14" framed, 2022, $685

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace; Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"I was inspired by the geometric shapes, textures, and colors featured in Necklace, Witchcraft, and Aouchem, Corps 2. In these three pieces, I noticed lines branching out from the main subject(s), often connecting to circles or dots; this led me to an exploration of line and shape. I chose each material for its unique mark-making capacity, each medium's distinct strength helped me to create a variety of nuanced textures."

Susan Murie


Quadrants 2

cyanotype on mulberry paper, 31" x 22", 2022, $2,200

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"This cyanotype photography piece was created in response to my viewing of Nike Davies Okundaye's work, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko). I was drawn to the cross at the center of the piece as shown, dividing the field into four distinct but related areas. I was also attracted to the indigo color and the various graphic elements and motifs. In my own work I have my chosen motifs, currently and in this piece, boats, a child's vintage comb, hands and mulberry leaves. Ibadan is Sweet is on cotton fabric and I chose to make my work on a softly textured mulberry paper, even though it is challenging to wash/process after exposure due to its high absorbency. The extra care and effort was worth the resulting rich Prussian blue color, image clarity, and luscious texture."

FAM Selection:

Abu Mwenye


Beauty in the Beads Series

acrylic mixed media on canvas, 30" x 40", 2021, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace; Potter, Medicine Pot

"There are a number of different colors used in Maasai beadwork, and each one holds a special meaning: red signifies blood, bravery, and unity. White represents health, peace, and purity. Blue is the color of the sky and represents energy, and green is the color of grass, which signifies land and production."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Abu Mwenye’s eye-catching Beauty in the Beads Series exhibits impressive technical skill. Playful layering and stunning color complement the beautiful representational portrait. The connection to the Maasai necklace is clear, and the strength and femininity of the subject thematically relate to the Nigerian medicine pot."

Lynn Nafey

Ready To Let Go

acrylic paint, ink, transfers, silk thread, colored pencil, Dura-Lar, vellum on plexiglass, Tyvek, and Dibond, 16" x 20", 2022, $2,300

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem; Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

"'Letting go' can be an act of personal transformation, a shedding of the past, accumulated stuff, or ways of being that no longer serve us. As this piece evolved, it became a visual talisman, a wish to move forward free and unencumbered.

In line with this theme, I found Mazirh’s Aouchem, Corps 2, particularly haunting, its obscured figures seemingly constrained by the symbolic tattoos of the artist’s heritage. This was a fertile starting point as I contemplated how what we culturally adopt can become its own cage from which we yearn to break free.

I found additional inspiration in the playful abstraction of the figure in Ogundele’s Witchcraft. The shapes, colors, and patterning imbue this entity with power and magic. Carrying this inventiveness through to my work, I placed disparate textures, forms, and materials on three different layers to create both mystery and surprise."

Karen Nunley


Moroccan Dreamscape

mixed media on wood, 8" x 24" x 1.5", 2022, $300

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"Karen Nunley was Inspired by the tattoo images in Sara Mazirh’s Aouchem, Having visited Morocco, Nunley took these images using colors reminiscent of the spices and pushed them into a dreamscape of the North African country."

Stephen Paulson



found objects, 29" x 18" x 7", 2019, $580 (sold)

Inspired by: Willie Cole, Work Animal; Chamba or Mumuye people, Currency; Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

Carolyn Quirk

I Don't Know Maybe

oil and acrylic on canvas, 16" x 20", 2022, $500

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace

"I really like the colors in the Necklace and the hardware, so I used similar/same colors to create this piece of work. I tried to give this piece a really strong presence."

Robin Reynolds


Yellow When Is Spring

collage on panel with oil & water based inks, vintage gardening transfers, lace, linocuts, and handmade paper, 30" x 30", 2022, $2,500

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko); Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Maasai Artist, Necklace

"Primarily a plein air painter, I began making collages during the winter months to escape the outdoor cold while still harnessing the beauty and memory of my backyard summer garden. I create “painting collages” by layering transparencies from vintage gardening encyclopedias, linocut prints, vintage lace, and a wide range of alternative mixed media. Working in an improvisational way, I slowly build the collage surface by layering diverse materials and manipulating varied mark making. The result is that I’m able to create complex works on paper that provide intricate texture, line and color up close, and form, depth and space from afar; in essence a rich year round garden experience.

The collages bring beauty, feminism and our threatened environment to the forefront: conceptually expressing the delicate nature of each and its implications of vulnerability within today’s changing world."

Ann Rosebrooks

Shifting Sands

acrylic on canvas, 20" x 16", 2022, $400

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"I was thinking of the patterns and formations created in the desert by the winds in response to the patterns of the piece by Okundaye."

Pamella Saffer

Honor to The Un-Named

dyed cotton, linen and rayon, wire, coconut shells, 15" x 36", 2022, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"This piece is a tribute to John “Quash” Williams and the nineteen other un-named enslaved West Africans whose skills and labor produced the first viable indigo dye matter in the 18th century British colony of Charleston, South Carolina.

"The kidnapped Africans carried with them the considerable knowledge, culture and skills of the cultures of their home countries.

"They worked on land owned by Eliza Lucas Pinckney, an amateur botanist, and Charles Pinckney. Over the years Eliza Lucas Pinckney had tried repeatedly— and unsuccessfully—to grow indigo dye matter for export. Around 1745, with information shared by one of the enslaved Africans and with the skills and labor of the others, the highly laborious and painstaking processes of cultivating indigo and extracting a high-quality viable dye were successful. The result was a valuable export that shifted the entire economy and trade of the southeast seaboard."

Piya Samant

Expectant of Life

oil on paper, 8" x 10", 2020, $275

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Potter, Medicine Pot

"This painting is a self-portrait of a time past. It depicts the artist in the later part of her pregnancy. Culturally, it is considered a bad omen to share news that a woman is expecting until it’s visibly obvious. Additionally, gestures and symbols that announce arrival of a child such as maternity photos, baby showers, toys, baby clothes and furniture are considered to affect fertility and bring bad luck to the embryo. These are held off until after the birth. In keeping with these beliefs, this painting was created years after birth to as a memory of the period of artist’s life. This piece is a response to the Medicine Pot that is a symbol of fertility and also is a response to the Fanti fertility “doll”. Both these pieces represent people’s desire to assign symbolism to uncertain life events such as birth and death because they are beyond our control."

FAM Selection:

Lisa Shea



multi-exposure photography, 11" x 17", 2022, $100 (sold)

Inspired by: Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem

"The original image was by Safaa Mazirh from Morocco. She created a multiple exposure with her body overlaid with the shapes of her family tattoos. For my response, I created a multiple exposure with my own body overlaid with my family Ukrainian Easter eggs. I wore my pink nightgown because the image of the six-year-old girl killed during the War on Ukraine in her pink unicorn pajamas was just so heart-wrenching."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Lisa Shea’s Ukraine relates very strongly on a conceptual level to Safaa Mazirh’s Aouchem, Corps 2, without creating an exact copy. Equally mysterious and timely, this multi-exposure showcases excellent photographic technique. Shea’s work is captivating, and draws the viewer in closely to see the artist’s body hidden in each egg."

Motherland Cave Grafitti

acrylic on canvas, 24" x 24", 2022, $800

Inspired by: Willie Cole, Work Animal; Maasai Artist, Necklace; Kuba people, Cup; Potter, Medicine Pot

"Motherland Tapestry is a celebration of African culture, from pottery and African bead jewelry to the African elephant and Adinkra, yet also a piece recognizing the great crimes against humanity and against African wildlife that have plagued the continent throughout Africa's history."

Linda Snay



fluid acrylic and hand embroidery on raw canvas, 16" x 16", 2022, $325

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace

"Interconnection is inspired by the vibrant Maasai necklace from the FAM collection. As a landscape artist, the use of an imagined landscape is helpful to facilitate and conjure unique experience. The embroidered circle reflects and relates to the shape of the Maasai necklace, while also acting as a symbol of connection and interconnection between humans and the natural world, heaven and earth. The circle is a symbol that represents many meanings, from cycles and connection, to wisdom and spirituality. My use of embroidery on paintings is inspired by the fine craft traditions developed by the hands of women through out history and the privilege of watching and learning from my own relatives. "

Ann Souza


paper, paper string, acrylic medium, glue, wood, tape, common pins, nails, 21" x 19" x 10", 2022, $175

Inspired by: Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara)

"HairStory is my interpretation of how the Chiwara spirit might manifest in the present day...the Antelope Headcrest becomes a Frohawk."

Karen Stokke

The Artist's Work is Sweet

assemblage wired on wicker, incorporating printed paper, tape, dyed fiber, wood, plastic, and metal found objects, 15" x 10.5" x 3", 2022, $300

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace; Willie Cole, Work Animal; Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"This piece originated as Necklace’s shape and colors along with Cole’s manipulation of a bicycle evoked an artist’s work tool, the color wheel. Drawn next to the circular forms within Okundaye’s textile, I was inspired to fold and roll encyclopedia pages, tying them with fiber in a spinning wheel pattern. From there my creation developed, made only from previously-sourced materials, many with a story behind them. It was an honor to feel an affinity with the early Bamana farmers, who followed the antelope spirit Chi Wara’s guidance to work with the resources nature provided.

I chose wire for the connection of objects in order to make the action of my work visible, like the inside of a clock revealed. Through this assemblage, which references as many materials and facets of the FAM pieces as possible, I hope to call attention to objects as dynamic, rather than fixed, sources of meaning."

Lawrence Strauss

Arrangement in Oxides

oil on panel, 13" x 10.5", 2022, $490

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

"A splattered panel compelled me to explore. I think the idea that emerged of a figure beneath another, as in the Ogundele work, shows something about our relationships. Is the lower figure supporting the upper? Is the upper figure buoying the lower? Are we aware of the other or just naively connected? Are there times when our positions reverse? I named it for the mud, because, the object is beyond what it depicts as pictures are beyond words; and paint, birds, people all go from oxide to oxide from mud to mud."

Susan Stuart

The Carrot and the Stick

oil on canvas with pastel and pumice, 22" x 22", 2019, $1,200

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace

"I’m selecting the Massai Artist Necklace to contrast with my work The Carrot And The Stick.

"In contrast to the beads, metal and wire used in The Massai Artist Necklace, my painting is made of oil paint. The gradations in the values and intensities of various colors, along with the intermixing of pastel and pumice, create a distinctive surface texture. Formally, this work is a search for variations in shapes while maintaining architectural influences from previous works. Coincidently, the “collar-like” focal point (to the right of center) of my work references the Massai Artist Necklace. Within this area of the painting is a rendered form that is in contrast to all the other irregular, amorphic and geometric shapes.

"The chosen title, The Carrot And The Stick, references my personal challenge to “follow through” with work started but not resolved."

FAM Selection:

Suzanne Stumpf



porcelain sculpture, 11" x 13" x 2.25", 2020, $1,100

Inspired by: Chamba or Mumuye people, Currency

"Relic is inspired by the mysteries of icons, ritualistic pieces, and treasures of earlier civilizations. It is intended to embody universal symbols and the incalculable value of human history."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Though Suzanne Stumpf has removed all color, the form and texture of Relic undeniably evoke the Nigerian currency. Stumpf’s choice in keeping her sculpture matte signals a thoughtful, unique, and fresh approach to the art of porcelain."

Richard Suls

Owl, My First

pen on paper, 10" x 13", 2022, $180 (sold)

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

Susan Swinand

Wings, Veins and Broken Hearts

mixed media: hosta leaf, acrylic on paper on wood, 12" x 12", 2017, $600

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Bamana people, Antelope Headcrest (Chiwara); Safaa Mazirh, Aouchem; Potter, Medicine Pot

"This piece relies heavily on expressive materials, both organic and man made. The shape and texture of the dried hosta leaf evokes multiple meanings. Like many of the pieces from FAM, it is an expressive object rather than a depiction."

Cathy Taylor



archival digital inkjet print, 20" x 25", 2020, $300

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Willie Cole, Work Animal

"Bayo Ogundele's piece Witchcraft and Fox are both watchful and listening. Willie Cole's 'Work Animal' features recycled parts to create the essence of an animal. Fox features colorful digital pixels to show the essence of a fox sitting in a sunlit field, ears perked and eyeing the landscape carefully."

Amber Rose Tortorelli


Witchcraft of the Unfortunate Heroines

mixed media sculpture, recycled and repurposed art, 50" x 30", 2021-22, not for sale

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft

"The power figure is a totem imbued with spirit. This sculpture is a combination of the classic and the contemporary. While my spiritual fetish may be influenced by totems like Nkisi, this piece is very much its own brand of American witchcraft. It’s a mixture of stories and spiritual practices shared by the maternal influences from my past. Aspects of hunter, shadow, and foot track magic, Goddess worship, and necromancy are incorporated.

The customs and identities of the women who taught me the specialties of their craft intermingle. It speaks of the hardships they endured and all the nurturing they provided. This piece is meant to honor the women who taught me, and to call them forth in spirit when their guidance is needed."

Watch: Witchcraft of the Unfortunate Heroines

video by Amber Rose Tortorelli

FAM Selection:

Robin Tost

@Robin Tost

Old Goat

salvaged metal scrap, 34" x 30" x 18", 2020, $750

Inspired by: Willie Cole, Work Animal

"Goat shares elements with Willie Cole's Work Animal, but mine has seen a lot more living."

From FAM's curatorial staff: "Old Goat features the same balance of playfulness and elegance seen in Willie Cole’s Work Animal. Robin Tost shows a trained eye for detail and form in her choices of unique individual elements for each body part."

Simon Tozer

In to Sing

poem on acrylic, fabrics, and found objects, 6" x 12" x 7", 2022, $250

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"I've traveled there, then, and now here, friend." Inspired by my placement within a familiar-yet-foreign culture, while abroad in Scotland, I was questioning my personal involvement with African-American culture and its influence on my identity. I am at home, though at the same time can't help but feel like a visitor. The case opens up to reveal this internal dialogue, spoken by voices which may very well be only my own."

Rebecca McGee Tuck


Stories We Tell

wood, paint, found objects including taxidermy bird, doll hair, antique hardware, printing block letters, 23" x 24" x 12", $1,200

Inspired by: Maasai Artist, Necklace; Willie Cole, Work Animal

"We all tell little lies to be polite or to spare someone's feelings or even our own. Innocuous lies are also told to create magical stories or to bend reality in a more interesting way. For this piece I collected stories from people that I know about small untruths that they have told to loved ones. I took inspiration from “Necklace” for the symbolism in material use. The objects for this work were inspired by the conversations that I had about a fib that was told. Each written untruth is under the watchful eye of the bird, and the horse's hoof symbolizes the harsh truth that, at times, is being avoided. The use of eclectic ephemera in this piece draws a likeness to the creative experimentation of found material in “Work Animal" by Willie Cole."

Mary Pat Wager


Spirit of Flint

sculpted raku clay head, copper pipes, reclaimed stainless steel, 15.25" x 9" x 12.5", 2021, $6,500

Inspired by: Chamba or Mumuye people, Currency; Willie Cole, Work Animal; Potter, Medicine Pot

"I find it interesting to work with the visual residue of various, disparate found objects that are traditionally not art materials and often destined for the landfill (Willie Cole).

I enjoy the challenge of changing their meaning, preserving, as well as, altering their history and allowing for the interplay of visual and psychological relationships (Currency, Nigeria).

The sculpture, Spirit of Flint draws attention to the political and economically motivated impact that humans have had on the environment. This sculpture reflects on the horrible injustice that was inflicted on the people of Flint, Michigan (Medicine Pot – fresh water taken daily from the river)."

Jill Watts

Looking Two Ways

cone 10 dark clay, glazes, slip, epoxy, found objects, paint, cloth, 21" x 23" x 12", 2022, $1,500

Inspired by: Bayo Ogundele, Witchcraft; Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?); Willie Cole, Work Animal

"I have made numerous masks and ceramic faces and this piece is a continuation of that series. It relates to Bayo Ogundele's work called Witchcraft and also Maude Sulter's The Unfortunate Heroine in that there is a face expressing anger in visual "words" and another that is quiet. I included Willie Cole's Work Animal, because of his use of repurposed things."

Margaret Wild

Coreopsis the First

acrylic on canvas, 14" x 14", 2022, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?)

Neil Wilkins



encaustic mixed media, 12" x 12", 2021, $375, (sold)

Inspired by: Nike Davies Okundaye, Ibadan is Sweet (adire eleko)

"The layered process, limited color palette, and use of symbolic forms suggest a certain conversational kinship between this piece and “Ibadan is Sweet” by Nike Davies Okundaye."

Peter Wise

Rèflexion Coloniale

digital photomontage, 15" x 16", 2022, $175

Inspired by: Maud Sulter, Helas L'Heroine, Vous Parliez de Moi? (The Unfortunate Heroine, You Were Talking of Me?)

"I liked the ironic sense of the original image, "Hèlas L'Heroine," specifically the use of the British colonial uniform imposed on the African woman illustrating the intense power of imperialism and colonialism on any given Western European possession. That perversion of the captive population is as long lasting as a tattoo or better said, a brand. The subjugation of non-white cultures doesn't stop because these colonies gained formal independence. It is an everlasting reflection of the tyranny exacted on much of the rest of the world by the colonial powers like Great Britain, France, Belgium and yes, the United States."

Brenda Yates


Obvara Bowl

ceramic with sodium silicate raku fired and dipped in water, yeast, and sugar, 5" x 6.5", 2019, Not For Sale

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup

"This piece was thrown and altered with sodium silicate to create the hairline fractures in the clay. The piece is then bisque fired to approximately 1650 degrees F. Once the pot is very hot, it is plunged into a water/yeast/sugar solution which gives it the unique colorization. This "Obvara" process was developed in Europe in the 12th century. The results are unpredictable!"

Mark Zieff


Two Bowls

colored pencil on toned paper, 11" x 14", 2020, $500

Inspired by: Kuba people, Cup

"As an artist and industrial designer, I’ve always been fascinated by the impact that a simple pattern or texture can have on an object. Though seemingly reserved and even subdued, they can change a small and somewhat ordinary object into one that has great stature and presence."