The celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday and his extraordinary contributions to our nation leads us into the monthlong commemoration of Black History Month.
President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976 during the bicentennial, urging Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” The month of February was chosen because it corresponds to the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
At the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, we begin our Black History Month conversations by welcoming the exceptionally talented artist Tyanna Buie [MFA ’10] to our Fine Arts Gallery. Her work, on display through March, engages with the experience of growing up in foster care through the imaginative power of art. A reception and gallery talk with Buie will take place from 4-6 p.m. on Feb. 5.
Through her large-scale family portraits, she seeks to re-envision a lost past that conjures the physical evidence of childhood. Deploying the media of painting, collage, and screenprinting on paper, she constructs multilayered worlds that are distressed and excavated. She repeatedly reworks the surface until it’s like old wallpaper — tattered, torn, discarded and thus “reveals an unspecified narrative beneath the surface.”