COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa – On Friday evening in Council Bluffs, three African-American women with more than 50 years of artistic experience will premiere a joint exhibition.
During the exhibit’s sneak preview, the art is only a portion of the presentation. Three African American female artists exhibited their work in a single exhibition.
The Circulation Between Us.
Patty Talbert stated, “As we travel through life in an ebb and flow, sometimes things are really good and other times they’re not as good, and they interconnect and complement one other.”
Patty Talbert, Celeste Butler, and Pamela Conyers-Hinson did not begin this exhibition with a common theme, but they were able to sense each other’s presence, and the pieces eventually came together.
Pamela constructed an artwork from her mother’s cigarette coupons, which she had collected over the years.
“When she passed away in 2012, I discovered the coupons, so I decided to create a piece of art with them,” Conyers-Hinson explained.
Pamala believes that her and her friends’ work gives Black women artists a chance to be heard.
“We are generally under-represented, but we have the chance to represent all other artists of color.”
It is a part of her practice for Celeste Butler to halt whenever inspiration strikes.
“In between, I’ll do some writing to put my thoughts on paper.”
In addition to being personal, Butler’s work depicts the beauty of Black women. As a child, she was taunted for her attractiveness.
“These are characteristics that we were born with, the large nose, the big lips, the wide hips, and the thick thighs, this is who we are and this is who our ancestors were, so I want to make sure I always pay honor to the women who came before me,” Butler added.
Patty Talbert derives motivation from her family and tradition.
“I want my family to be proud of me, and I want my grandchildren to look up to me. This is what keeps me going.”
All of these artists claim that their art provides them a voice, one that they control, and they believe that this is crucial at a time when women in the United States and worldwide are losing this control.
“I feel as though we’re regressing, so we’re fighting; we’re pushing our hands against the doorjamb, struggling not to be pushed back, so our art offers us a chance to speak out.”
Friday evening at 6:30 p.m., the Ebb and Flow Between Us exhibition opens at the Hoff Family Arts & Culture Center in Council Bluffs.