Star Tribune presents the art exhibition “Liberatory Ornament” in Saint-Olaf
A recent Star Tribune characteristic by visual arts critic and journalist Alicia Eler highlighted the beginnings of Liberating adornment, an exhibition at the Flaten Art Museum at St. Olaf College until January 23.
Eler visited St. Olaf for the exhibition’s opening events on November 5, which featured curator Jillian Hernandez, artist Kenya (Robinson) and St. Olaf faculty members Arneshia Williams and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. The exhibition, which also includes works by artists Pamela Council and Yvette Mayorga, explores the ways in which rituals and materials of beauty and personal care can be mobilized as tools of freedom, power and opportunity by and for people. Blacks and Latinxes.
“Throughout the exhibition, there is a joy to design and reclaim craftsmanship, which is often devalued as ‘woman’s work’,” Eler writes, pointing to works like ‘Protest Fingers’ de Mayorga, a piece featuring hands with spiky, colorful fingernails. which greets visitors at the entrance.
The opening events of the exhibition included a first video of BLACK OF ENTITLEMENT from Kenya (Robinson) and a panel discussion with the artists, curator and faculty members of St. Olaf. While on campus, the artists also spent time with black, Latin and gay students and members of several student organizations.