Beyond Mammy, Jezebel + Sapphire: Reclaiming Images of Black Women

"Delta Doo", Alison Saar. from the Schnitzer Collection

“Delta Doo”, Alison Saar. from the Schnitzer Collection

Beyond Mammy, Jezebel + Sapphire: Reclaiming Images of Black Women

March 28 – May 16, 2017

Closed: April 19 – April 23


Curated from the Schnitzer Collection by IDEA and the Alexandria Museum of Art (Alexandira, Louisiana).

This exhibition features images that examine and interrogate culturally constructed controlling images of Black women. From the suffering mama, to the stoic victim, to the sassy broad – the images presented in the exhibition question and overturn entrenched archetypes of Black femininity.

Engaging a wide range of experiences and artistic practices, the nine artists featured in this exhibition challenge the controlling images of Black women that continue to pervade our culture and influence perceptions. Their artworks jar loose expectations and replace simplistic narratives with nuanced, sophisticated meditations on contemporary identity. Frankly addressing idea such as frailty, sexualized power, and racially bounded ideals of beauty, Reclaiming Images presents us with compelling and nuanced examinations of multiple Black female identities and experiences.

Featured artists:
Romare Howard Bearden, Robert H. Colescott, Ellen Gallagher, Mildred Howard, Wangechi Mutu, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, Mickalene Thomas, Kara Walker


All events are free and open to the public

Tuesday, March 28, 4:30 – 6pm
Beyond Mammy, Jezebel + Sapphire: Reclaiming Images of Black Women
Opening Reception and Panel Discussion
IDEA Space
Featuring a poetry performance by Sha’Condria “iCon” Sibley and a panel discussion with Claudine Taaffe (Senior Lecturer in the African American & Diaspora Studies Program, Vanderbilt University) Heidi Lewis (Professor of Feminist & Gender Studies, Colorado College) and Jessica Lynne (Co-Editor of Arts.Black)

Sha’Condria “Icon” Sibley:  Artist, educator, and poet; founding member of the 2010 and 2012 Southern Fried Regional Poetry Slam runner-up, the 2010 National Poetry Slam Group Piece Champion, and a member of the 2012 National Poetry Slam Championship team, Team SNO (Slam New Orleans)

Heidi R. Lewis, PhD: Assistant Professor and Associate Director of Feminist and Gender Studies at Colorado College. She currently serves as the Associate Editor for The Feminist Wire. Her work primarily focuses on Feminist Theory, Critical Race Theory, and Critical Media Studies.

Claudine Taaffe, PhD: Senior Lecturer in African American & Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. Her research examines the ways in which African American girls, create identity and community through the creative arts.

Jessica Lynne: A Brooklyn-based arts administrator and critic. She contributes to publications such as Art in America, The Art Newspaper, The Brooklyn Rail, Hyperallergic, and Pelican Bomb.  She’s co-editor of ARTS.BLACK, a journal of art criticism from Black perspectives, and a founding editor of Zora Magazine. Currently, Jessica serves as the Manager of Development and Communication at Recess.

Wednesday, March 29, 6 – 7pm
Innovative Minds: Art Criticism for a New Generation: Creating ARTS.BLACK
A Lecture by Jessica Lynne, Co-Editor of ARTS.BLACK
Flex Room, Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center
ARTS.BLACK is a journal of art criticism from Black perspectives predicated on the belief that art criticism should be an accessible dialogue – a tool through which we question, celebrate, and talk back to the global world of contemporary art.
Presented by Innovation at CC

Tuesday, May 9, 4:30 – 5:30pm
Black Feminist Theory: Student Research Presentations + Reception
IDEA Space
Students in the Colorado College course Black Feminist Theory have present original research and analysis of the artworks in the exhibition, Reclaiming Images of Black Women, currently on view at IDEA Space.

Tuesday, May 9, 6 – 7pm
Baby Mamas, Beloved, and True Motherhood: Reclaiming Images of Black Women
A lecture by Venetria Patton
Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room
Dr. Patton is Head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Professor of English and African American Studies, Purdue University.

Thursday, March 30, 5:00 – 7:30 pm 
Film Screening: NO! The Rape Documentary + Conversation with Aishah Shihidah Simmons
Location TBD
The film No!: The Rape Documentary will be screened followed by a conversation with filmmaker Aishah Shihidah Simmons.

NO!: The Rape Documentary is the 2006-released Ford-Foundation funded award-winning, internationally acclaimed, groundbreaking feature length film that explores the international atrocity of heterosexual rape and other forms of sexual assault through the first person testimonies, scholarship, spirituality, activism, and cultural work of Black people in the United States. NO! also explores how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia. Along these lines, Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, says, “If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself, it must complete the work that [NO!] begins.”

Aishah Shahidah Simmons: An award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, activist, cultural worker, writer, and international lecturer. She is a 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow, where she is developing her multimedia project #LoveWITHAccountability, which examines how accountability is a powerful and necessary form of love needed to address child sexual abuse (CSA). Previously, she was the Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College, an Adjunct Professor in the Women’s and LGBT Studies Program at Temple University, an O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at Scripps College, an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, and an Artist-in-Residence at Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon. Her essays and articles have been published in several anthologies including the recently released Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Violence Movement and Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence. Simmons is also an Associate Editor of The Feminist Wire, and her cultural work and activism have been documented extensively in The Root, Crisis, Forbes, Ms. Magazine, Alternet, ColorLines, NPR, and BET, among others.

Is It Me, For A Moment? | Cornerstone Arts Week 2017

Miranda July 1-2171kb (credit Todd Cole) copy_Web

Miranda July, photo by Todd Cole

Monday, January 30

Opening Reception | After Before
Cornerstone Arts Center
5:30-7 pm

We begin Cornerstone Arts Week with a multidisciplinary event to mark the opening of IDEA Space exhibition After Before by JoAnn Verburg. The event features a panel discussion with JoAnn Verburg and Colorado College faculty members, interactions with the exhibition, a sound installation by Jane Riggler and Lewis Keller as well as a dance performance, Plastique.

Plastique is an ironic and playful dance performance placing the human body in interactions with plastic grocery bags. Choreographed by Sue Lauther and Shawn Womack; Ormao dancers David Foster, Will Ladnier, Venese Medovich and Laura Treglia are joined by Colorado College students Monica Black and Trevon Newmann.

Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, January 31


Lunch and Conversation with JoAnn Verburg | FULL
Gaylord Hall, Worner Campus Center
12:15 – 1:30 pm
Dine and hear from acclaimed photographer Verburg, IDEA Curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen and Professor of Philosophy Jonathan Lee. Lunch provided; reservations required at Gaylord Hall, first floor of the Worner Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave.; $15.

Moment to Moment: A Student Art Experience
Cornerstone Arts Center
5:30-7 pm
This one night event features Colorado College student art projects including installation, time based art, and more. All works and experiences will be housed in the Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center. Curated by Sophie Capp ’17. 

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Music-at-Midday featuring Moments Musicales
Packard Hall
12:15-1 pm

KEYNOTE | “LOST CHILD!” by Miranda July
Celeste Theatre, Cornerstone Arts Center
7:30 pm
In this autobiographical artist talk Miranda July discusses the making of books, shoes, friends, movies, performances and personal protection devices — from her earliest work as a fledgling artist in Portland, OR to her current successes and tribulations as an award-winning filmmaker and best-selling author. With moments of interactive performance, video clips and short readings,  LOST CHILD! explores the inner world of one of today’s most original artists. Keynote event with Miranda July presenting “Lost Child!”.  Free and open to the public.

Thursday, Feb. 2

Film Screening | Me and You and Everyone We Know
Film Screening Room, Cornerstone Arts Center 
7:00-8:45 pm

Trailer | Me and You and Everyone We Know
The film is directed, written by and starring Miranda July. Free and open to the public.

Friday, Feb. 3

Critical Karaoke | The Who, Quadrophenia, and Others: Is It Me For A Moment?
Film Screening Room, Cornerstone Arts Center
5:30-7 p.m.,
Taking Critical Karaoke off the airwaves we drop the personalities on stage for an in-person rendition of the show. Colorado College professors Ryan Banagale (Music) and Steven Hayward (English) bring with them music, insight, and banter. Free and open to the public.

After Before by JoAnn Verburg

After Before
January 26 – March 11, 2017

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Artichoke. JoAnn Verburg. 2015.

Opening Reception and Cornerstone Arts Week Kickoff Celebration

Monday, January 30, 5:30pm

After Before presents the perils and seductions of consumerism, using the canals of Venice as a locus. In this new series, acclaimed photographer JoAnn Verburg investigates a global issue – the pollution of the world’s water systems – through a close examination of detritus found in a single location. Eliding the dangers of heavy-handed social commentary, Verburg’s nuanced and hauntingly beautiful series draws attention to the tragedy that the proliferation of trash in the environment represents, while simultaneously acknowledging the inherent satisfactions of our love affair with consumer goods. To create the series, Verburg first photographs or films discarded objects she finds in Venice’s historic waterways. Here, the displaced plastic wrappers, deflated basketballs, corks, and fruit rinds that float in the canals act as poignant signifiers of consumer culture run amok. Armed with these images of found trash, she then sets out to purchase new versions of the discarded objects. In a second series of images, she then presents these everyday items, exquisitely photographed as though they were luxury goods. Placed on pedestals, awash in revelatory light, or located in ornate surroundings, these quotidian commodities transform into objects of profound desire.

Exhibition + Exhibition Events| Incarceration Nation

Incarceration Nation
October 27 – December 17, 2016

Youth Detention by Richard Ross

Youth Detention by Richard Ross

The United States currently incarcerates 2.3 million people. While number that has increased fivefold in the past thirty years, the prison experience remains invisible to the majority of the population. Incarceration Nation seeks to provide an alternative window onto the American incarceration system by examining the shifting conditions of visibility of its structures, conditions, and residents. The exhibition reveals the ways in which the ability to control the conditions of vision and perceptibility – both within the incarceration system and from the outside – can either enforce existing authoritarian structures, or push back against those structures. With a focus on artists whose works retain a strong activist component, the exhibition raises questions about the relationship between visibility, justice, and power.  Who can seen, and by whom? What possibilities exist for access to, or creation of, visual materials? How do the shifting conditions of visual control directly affect prisoners’ lives and shape our political rhetoric about incarceration?

Featured Artists:
Maria Gaspar, Michelle Handelman, Jesse Krimes, Richard Ross, the Photographs from Solitary project, and Emily Waters.

 Presented as a companion to Incarceration Nation, the exhibition Juvenile In Justice by Richard Ross explores the juvenile justice system through photographs of juvenile inmates housed in over 200 detention centers and correctional facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Through images and first-person narratives project explores the “treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them.”

Curated by Jessica Hunter-Larsen

Sponsored by The Social Issues and Historical Context Initiative of the Colorado College, the Colorado College History Department, and the Cultural Attractions Fund.

Exhibition Events

Thursday, October 27, 5:30 – 7pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room
Artist talks by Michelle Handelman and Jesse Krimes

  • Michelle Handelman uses video, live performance and photography to make confrontational works that explore the sublime in its various forms of excess and nothingness. Her video installation “Beware the Lily Law”, featured in the IDEA exhibition Incarceration Nation, uses the 1969 Stonewall riots as a starting point to address issues facing gay and transgender inmates.
  • Artist and former inmate Jesse Krimes investigates the human condition in an attempt to disentangle complex value systems and hierarchies. His installation piece Apokaluptein:16389067, conceived and executed within federal prison, presents a modern-day meditation on nature of good and evil.


Friday, October 28, 4:30 — 6pm,
IDEA Space & Film Screening Room
Incarceration Nation Opening Reception & Panel Discussion

Featuring exhibiting artists Michelle Handelman, Jesse Krimes, performer Yannis Simonides, and activist Jean Casella in conversation with CC faculty members Jane Murphy and Carol Neel. The event will also feature a discussion of the Colorado version of Photo Requests from Solitary with student researcher Madeleine Engel and participating photographers.


Monday, November 28, 2916, 5:30pm
Coburn Gallery, 902 N. Cascade Ave. 80903
Reception and Artist Talk with Richard Ross

Photographer and activist Richard Ross is the creator of the Juvenile In Justice project, a photographic documentation of the placement and treatment of American juveniles. Through photographs, audio narratives, and video, Ross’ multi-platform project examines how juveniles are housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them.


Tuesday, December 6, 6pm
Cornerstone Arts Center Film Screening Room
Detention Center, a performance by Carolina Rubio MacWright

Trained as both an artist and an attorney, Carolina Rubio MacWright focuses her attention on the theft of freedom experienced due to kidnapping, incarceration, or the denial of a safe and peaceful homeland. Her recent artwork seeks to make visible the tension that exists between feelings of hope and despair so that viewers may consider the injustices taking place today.


Music | Dawn Avery: 50 Shades of Red


Thursday, October 6
7:30 – 9:00 pm
Armstrong Hall, Kathryn Mohrman Theater

Pre-performance reception at 5:30 in IDEA Space
Edith Kinney Gaylord Cornerstone Arts Center
Free and open to the public, no tickets required

From the Sensual to the Spiritual a Multi-Media Show featuring Native American Down-tempo and Avant-garde music, film and dance

Calling on her Mohawk heritage, Grammy nominated, Dawn Avery’s sultry voice, soaring cello lines and powerful stories allow audiences to experience both passion and peace. In her multimedia performance 50 Shades of Red, Dawn Avery combines Classical and Contemporary Native American musical offerings with video and dance to lead the audience through a vibrant artistic exploration of Native experience. Avery’s music is produced and performed by Grammy Award winning artist Larry Mitchell whose expansive guitar textures and electrifying solos elevate the audience to yet another dimension. They are joined by another Grammy winning musician and dancer, Ty Defoe (Oneida/Ojibwe) whose hypnotic eagle dance and captivating hoop dances weave through the journey of 50 Shades of Red.

Dawn Avery has collected awards for her classical works from Duke University, NYU, “Meet the Composer”, among others. She recently completed her doctoral degree in ethnomusicology on Native Classical composition and Indigenous theory. Nurturing future generations, Dawn Avery is a professor at Montgomery College and was awarded the 2012 United States Professor of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Sponsored by the Cultural Attractions Fund and the Colorado College Department of Music.

50 Shades of Red
is presented in conjunction with the IDEA Space exhibition, Corollary Acts (August 28 –October 15).

Interactive Conversation | Southwest Alive! Cultural Continuities

Thursday, October 6, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
IDEA Space


An interactive conversation with musician Dawn Avery and Colorado College professor Victoria Levine (Music), and a bead-working demonstration by Tawny Begay.


Music | Southwest Alive! Hip Hop Performance by Tall Paul

Tall Paul, Hip Hop artist

Tall Paul, Hip Hop artist

Friday, September 2, 6 – 7pm
Cossitt Amphitheater

Anishinaabe emcee Tall Paul started writing rhymes at age 14. Since then, his Ojibwe-English bilingual work has gained momentum and attention with conscious yet honest lyricism place over only the best beat selection. Tall Paul has been given high praise by popular comic Dave Chapelle.

Programming part of Corrollary Acts in IDEA Space.

Opening | First Friday Exhibition Opening Reception

Navajo Eyedazzler Rug

Navajo Eyedazzler Rug

Friday, September 2, 2016, 5 – 6pm
IDEA Space

Featuring a Southwest Alive! Cultural Continuities interactive conversation between Curator Michelle McGeough and featured artists Dwayne Manual and Marcie Brewer.

Light refreshments will be served.

Panel Discussion | Continuity and Change in Native Arts

Continuity and Change in Native Art: Panel Discussion 

Thursday, September 1, 5:00 – 6:00 pm
Cornerstone Film Screening Room

Exhibition curator Michelle McGeough in conversation selected featured artists and Colorado College Faculty.

Exhibition | Corollary Acts

Corollary Acts

Perpetuate by Jaque Fragua

Perpetuate by Jaque Fragua

August 29 – October 15, 2016
IDEA Space

What do we mean when we talk about aesthetics and aesthetic traditions? 

Corollary Acts brings together the artistic expressions of ten contemporary Native American artists with works from the Southwest Art collections of Colorado College and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. Through this combination, the exhibition seeks to demonstrate the continual evolution of artistic expression, and highlight the ways in which artists innovate and adapt new materials and media to espress their own creative visions.

What underlying expectations may we have for Native American art and artists? 

Many museum collections were created at a time when it was thought that Native American peoples and their cultures would not withstand the expansion of settler colonial nation states into their traditional territories and their traditions, and ways of life would be lost forever. Despite the continuous existence and vitality of Native communities in the 21st Century, exhibitions of Native American artworks held in museum collections often continue to foregroud historical conditions, thus demonstrating an underlying belief that Native cultures exist solely in the past. Exhibiting historical work with contemporary artistic expressions of Native American Artists demonstrates the falsehood of the idea of the “Vanishing Indian”.

What qualities make art created by Native Americans “Native American Art”? 

While current critiques of anthropology, art history, and museums view the paring of contemporary Native American art with historical objects as reductive – and therefore potentially problematic — Corollary Acts deliberately engages this strategy with the intention to uncover assumptions regarding contemporary Native American art and to challenge the vary definition of ‘art’ itself. Although this exhibition does not intend to provide definitive answers to the questions it raises, it does extend an invitation to discuss issues concerning aesthetics and aesthetic traditions. And, most importantly, the exhibition provides an opportunity for us to examine our expectations of Native American artists and their art, asking us to consider what constitutes Native American art in the 21st Century.

Featured Contemporary Artists:

Dwayne Manual; Joy Farley; Jaque Fragua; Preston Duwyenie; Marlowe Katoney; Marcie Rose Brewer; Rose B. Simpson; Will Wilson; Diego Romero; Teri Greeves; Virgil Ortiz.

Curated my Michelle McGeough
Sponsored by The Cultural Attractions Fund, the Hulbert Center for Southwest Studies, and the Art Department Stillman Fund for Exhibitions

Opening Reception | reSOURCED

Collage and Assemblage Source Material Explored

First Friday Opening Reception
Friday, June 3, 2016
4:30 – 6:00 pm
Extended gallery hours to 7:00 pm

Sport Fishing, Pikes Peak National Seashore

Event Schedule:
Artist talks from all featured artists begin at 5:00 pm, music to follow by jazz guitarist, Wayne Wilkinson.

Collage challenges the confinements of traditional fine arts media, straddles the boundaries of dimensionality, and creates a platform for storytelling and statement. Featuring the works of Kathryn Hart, Jeremy Grant, Susan Goldstein and David Armstrong, reSOURCED highlights the diversity of contemporary collage and assemblage methods. From exploring the visceral quality and rich history of found objects, to creating meticulous composition focused works, each artist represented offers a unique approach to processing and assembling source material. Their works inspire a curiosity for the untold stories of each individual object and image, while effortlessly redefining the intended purpose and context of each integrated element.

 Curated by Lila Pickus
9th Semester Design Fellow at Colorado College.

IDEA Space Summer Hours:
Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 5 pm
Closed July 2 – 4

Exhibition | reSOURCED

Collage and Assemblage Source Material Explored

Sport Fishing, Pikes Peak National Seashore

June 3 – July 16, 2016
IDEA Space

Summer Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 5pm.

Collage challenges the confinements of traditional fine arts media, straddles the boundaries of dimensionality, and creates a platform for storytelling and statement. Featuring the works of Kathryn Hart, Jeremy Grant, Susan Goldstein and David Armstrong, reSOURCED highlights the diversity of contemporary collage and assemblage methods. From exploring the visceral quality and rich history of found objects, to creating meticulous composition focused works, each artist represented offers a unique approach to processing and assembling source material. Their works inspire a curiosity for the untold stories of each individual object and image, while effortlessly redefining the intended purpose and context of each integrated element.

 Curated by Lila Pickus, 9th Semester Design Fellow at Colorado College.



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