Crossings: The Installation Art of Mildred Howard
November 12 - December 21, 1997
You have to understand where you come from to know where you are going.
The unique contributions of the African diaspora to world culture in music (jazz, blues, gospel), dance, and the plastic arts-- which reveal the expressive genius of people whose creativity cannot be discouraged by poverty and oppression-- are celebrated in Mildred Howard's work. Because improvisation is often prominent in these African-derived forms, it has become crucial to Howard's artistic methods and media. Using found objects, assemblage, and collage, she incorporates materials that put her individual memory in constant dialog with communal history, both in her individual pieces and large-scale installations. Personal memorabilia, architectural salvage, and objects from the realm of women's domestic activity are transformed to express profound feelings of connection and respect for ancestors and community, and to honor personal and collective memory.