West Virginia State University Hosts African-American Art Exhibition

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
Feb. 19, 2018
West Virginia State University Hosts African-American Art Exhibition
University to host artist’s talk, reception for Clifford L. Taylor’s “We Wear the Mask” Feb. 22
INSTITUTE, W.Va.West Virginia State University (WVSU) will host an art exhibition, artist’s talk and reception for “We Wear the Mask,” a reconceptualization of African-American racial identity by artist and educator Clifford L. Gordon, Thursday, Feb. 22, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Della Brown Taylor Hardman Art Gallery on campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Part of WVSU’s Black History Month Celebration, the exhibit consists of 27 acrylic paintings on canvas, each having a pair of eyes looking out from behind a unique mask. The exhibit's title is from the Paul Laurence Dunbar poem “We Wear the Mask.”

The exhibit dives into the idea that identity is transitive, symmetric and reflexive and introduces masks and face paint as metaphors to better understand identity. Gordon hopes by analyzing and interpreting the relationship between masks and identity, people will gain a deeper understanding of and appreciation for their own culture and “unmask” distorted self-identity complexities.

A native of Chattanooga, Tenn., Gordon is an artist and fine arts instructor at Columbia State Community College. He received an associate’s degree from Chattanooga State Community College, a bachelor’s degree from Tennessee State University and an M.F.A. from Memphis College of Art.

The exhibition runs through April 11 in the Della Brown Taylor Hardman Art Gallery, located in the Davis Fine Arts Building at WVSU.

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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multiā€generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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