Artist Talk & Opening Reception at Rowan University Art Gallery: Thursday, November 7, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
GLASSBORO, NJ – Rowan University Art Gallery presents 7 Mile Girls, an exhibition exploring the connection between Black female style of Detroit’s inner city, with designer fashion and self- empowerment. Curated by Mary Salvante, RU Gallery Director, this exhibition features several new works by artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards alongside paintings loaned by the Rubell Family Collection. The exhibition will run November 7 – December 21, 2019, with an opening reception on Thursday, November 7 from 5 – 7:00 PM.
Jamea Richmond-Edwards grew up observing the fashion styles in Detroit’s inner-city during the late 1980s and early ’90s. Popular and idolized were Coogi sweaters, red gators, and real and knock-off designer bags from Gucci and Louis Vuitton. She understood the correlation of the fashion industry around the Black female experience and their complex relationship with luxury clothing. The title 7 Mile Girls refers to the street in Detroit where Richmond-Edwards grew up and where she encountered many of the female subjects depicted in her paintings.
The artifice of dressing became the driving narrative of her work and her form of Black aesthetic and expression. She was particularly interested in how her work confronted social disparities and the inequitable practices and tone-deaf decisions continually made by the fashion house of H&M, Adidas, Gucci, and Prada. In opposition to the market focus of these brands her imagery is inspired by the styles of Black designers who have made a positive impact on the fashion perspective, particularly Dapper Dan for Gucci, and the work of Duro Olowu, alongside influences of artists coming out of AfriCOBRA and the Black Arts Movement.
Across her multi-layered collages, the artist expresses the intersections of Black style, capitalism, fashion, and personal identity. The female subjects live in ambiguously abstracted spaces that acts as its own coded language while they engross the viewer with their agency as conveyers of Black culture.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Jamea Richmond-Edwards graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Jackson State University in 2004 where she studied painting and drawing. She went on to earn an MFA from Howard University in 2012. She offers a repertoire of portraits of women drawn using ink, graphite and mixed media collage. Richmond-Edward’s work has garnered the attention of various art critics including in the Washington Post and the Huffington Post's "Black Artists: 30 Contemporary Art Makers Under 40 You Should Know". Richmond-Edwards has exhibited her artwork nationally and internationally including the Delaware Art Museum, California African American Museum, Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, MI, and Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, Maryland. Her works are in the permanent collection of private collectors across the country including the Embassy of the United States in Dakar, Senegal. She currently resides in Maryland with her Husband and three sons.
ABOUT ROWAN UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY
Rowan University Art Gallery serves as a premier cultural destination for South Jersey, the Rowan community, and surrounding region. Our mission is to provide a platform for discourse on best practices in contemporary art by professional artists, curators, and scholars through the presentation of interdisciplinary art exhibitions, panel discussions, guest curatorial projects, and other public programming.
The Gallery has a history of programming that recognizes the achievements of women in the visual arts with group and one person exhibitions that included: Beverly Semmes (2011), Joyce Kozloff (2014), Jeanie Jaffe (2015), Diane Burko (2018), Heather Ujiie (2018), Ebony G. Patterson (2019), and Julie Heffernan (2019). Its permanent collection includes the groundbreaking and historic installation
The Sister Chapel.
This exhibition is presented with the generous support of the Joseph Robert Foundation and the Coby Foundation. Support for programming at Rowan University Art Galleries is also made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information please visit: rowan.edu/artgallery.