A place at the table: Hart leads a week of advocating for local black artists

Known both for her art and social advocacy, New York artist Heather Hart spent a week on campus spurring the community to act in support of underrepresented artists.

“Together we can fill holes in the documentation of contemporary art history,” Hart said.

At Mount Mary, Hart engaged the community in oral history projects and an online documentation event:

“This type of approach is in line with where I believe education is going,” Skyberg said.

  • At a Wikipedia edit-a-thon, participants created, updated and improved Wikipedia articles pertaining to the lives and works of lesser-known local artists. By contributing to the life-stories of these artists, their accomplishments can finally be credited and remembered.
  • Hart facilitated two dining-and-discussion events through her “Black Lunch Table Project.” Directed by Hart, these discussions brought local artists and community members around the table to talk about the local cultural climate for artists, among other things. These first-person accounts are then recorded and transcribed for an online archive of oral histories.

Art therapy student Zakia Wells attended the Black Lunch Table discussion and discussed her approach to art with other local artists. “I feel inspired to start more artwork, to share my artwork with others and to make more connections in the local art community,” she said.

“These roundtable sessions lay out new productive relationships to continue the movement for dismantling institutional racism,” said Marian Gallery Curator Josh Anderson.

Hart’s exhibition work “Remember This House” can be seen at the Marian Art Gallery through October 6.

Heather Hart

I’m interested in the ways sharing a meal can break down boundaries. Together we can fill holes in the documentation of contemporary art history.

Heather Hart

I feel inspired to start more artwork, to share my artwork with others and to make more connections in the local art community.

Zakia Wells

Zakia Wells