During Covid times Woman Made Gallery in Chicago began hosting group virtual openings in a different way. They reduced the fee to enter and each artist would have at least one of their 4 submitted pieces be a part of the online gallery. Prior there was never a guarantee that you would be chosen. Shows were juried and curated. This pandemic method while juried was very inclusive vs competitive. Wonderful, large shows. I have been watching this gallery for many years and I have been submitting. I feel honored each and every time they include me. This will be my 5th opening with WMG
For the theme LOSS coming up this September
I knew immediately that I wanted to share this collage narrative.
BOTH collages were chosen. I am quite delighted.
Thank you Woman Made Gallery!
Here is a link to the exhibit.
I moved to a border-farming town that was near what is called the berry belt. Intense summer forest fire smoke lingered and temperatures were abnormally hot. The farm employers said, “Unless you are dead, don’t miss work.” 17 days into harvest, a young 28 year old guest migrant worker, named Honesto fell ill. 4 days later he died. His death sparked a day long workers strike and negotiations about how to give H-2A workers better representation.
I was journaling daily with collage at the time. I don’t usually collage about events in the news. Yet, my sadness for this family showed up in my creative subconscious work. A wife and 2 young ones were now without him, such a tragic loss.
CALL FOR ART: I lost my husband eight years ago, my mother just over four years, and my father three months ago. Those were my three best friends, so needless to say they were devastating losses. My parents who had been married well over fifty years, were not able to relate to the significance of my loss, and did not know what they could do to support me through it. This made it even more difficult. I became the primary caregiver for all three of them, in addition to planning all three funerals, with the assistance of my children. Every loss that we experience is individual, and how we navigate through it is also a varied experience. Those around us may try to comfort us in various ways, but often don’t know what to say or do, because we all experience grief or loss in different ways. Not only that, when we think of loss in the broader since of the word, that can encompass a great many other things. With the advent of Covid-19, some people are experiencing loss in the form of loved ones, jobs, divorce, businesses, independence, travel, family celebrations, and so on. How has loss impacted you?" -Felicia Grant Preston
Juror/Curator: Felicia Grant Preston is a retired art instructor and visual artist. She received a BA in art from Southern Illinois University, an MS ED from Northern Illinois University, and an MA from Chicago State University. In addition, she has studied at the University of Illinois, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Governor State University and The Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been included in the Paul R. Jones collection at the University of Delaware, considered one of the largest collections of African American art. Publications include the University of Delaware’s 2005 date book, Abstract and All That, University of Delaware exhibition catalog, African art: the Diaspora and beyond by Daniel T. Parker, Cover design for Mystic turf poems by Quraysh Ali Lansana, and one image in Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, edited by Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, 2016. For more information visit: https://www.feliciagrantpreston.com/
I also included in my submit a shot of how smokey the area was in those times.
Photography = a never ending opportunity to capture visual celebrations.