I Carry Them On My Back, Of Course!

Featuring Alexandria Clay

Exhibition Dates: January 24 – March 11, 2022
Location: Frankie G. Weems Gallery, Gaddy-Hamrick Art Center

Three sketches side by side of Black people with different facial expressions.

Press Release

In I Carry Them On My Back, Of Course!, mixed media artist Alexandria Clay presents a body of work that eagerly searches for shelter from the trauma of experiencing marginalizing spaces. Spanning over several years, her work arrives at the questioning of origins of “safe spaces;” how are they conceived, and who is maintaining them? In Clay’s experience, Black matriarchs constantly craft and preserve places of refuge in her community–-a practice that is due in part to domestic expectation. In the most recent work, Clay contends with this undervalued labor and the impact it has on the women in her life.

Through a series of multimedia collages which construct ideal worlds, followed by an expanding practice in portraiture, Clay aims to bring a specific, emotional trial to light, and to make known the invisible efforts that sustain her community.

This exhibition is presented by The Black on Black Project and funded in part by the Kenan Fund.

RELATED READING LIST

  • “A Black Women’s History of the United States,” Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross

  • “Lighting the Fires of Freedom,” Janet Dewart Bell

  • “Ella Baker and the Black Freedom Movement: A Radical Democratic Vision,” Barbara Ransby

  • “The Three Mothers,” Anna Malaika Tubbs

  • “The Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer: To Tell It Like It Is,” Maegan Parker Brooks and Davis W. Houck

  • “Song in a Weary Throat,” Pauli Murray

Note: The gallery operates on normal hours (Monday-Friday 9:00am-5:00pm; Saturday-Sunday 2:00-5:00pm). All admittance to campus is regulated by campus security at the main entrance. Event attendees and exhibition visitors will need to complete a self-assessment health form, provided through the Campus Clear App (https://www.campusclear.com). Please complete this form and be prepared to show your results to campus security. If you are unable to complete this form, admittance will not be granted. On campus, a mask must be worn at all times and social distance guidelines must be followed.

A black speech bubble with the text "Black on Black Project" in white.
For more information about accessibility or to inquire about other accomodations, please contact Molly Hull, hullmary@meredith.edu or 919-760-8414.

*All events are free and open to the public. 

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 27 from 5-8pm

Register for Opening Reception: HERE

Curated Conversation with Michael S. Williams and Alexandria Clay

     Join mixed media artist Alexandria Clay on Thursday, February 3 at 7 p.m. as she discusses themes of her latest body of work, I Carry Them On My Back, of Course! The exhibition is on view until March 11 at the Weems Gallery on the campus of Meredith College.
     The exhibition questions the origins of “safe spaces,” examines how they are conceived and studies who maintains them. Clay will discuss how Black matriarchs preserve such places of refuge but often see their impact go undervalued.
     Black On Black Project founder Michael S. Williams will facilitate the conversation with Clay, which will include a suggested reading list for viewers. The conversation will take place virtually through a Zoom webinar. 

Register for the Curated Conversation: HERE

Workshop with Featured Artist: Saturday, February 26 *Reserved for Meredith students*

Artist Reception: Thursday, March 3 from 5-8pm

Register for Artist Reception HERE