T. Eliott Mansa:
On Memory and the Radical Black Imagination
On View Till Sunday, February 27, 2022
Oolite Arts Collaborations
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is pleased to present in partnership with Oolite Arts, On Memory and the Radical Black Imagination, a solo exhibition by Miami-based artist T. Eliott Mansa. This exhibition in Gallery 2 at the Center is the second of our Oolite Collaborations series with Oolite Arts.
The work of T. Eliott Mansa sources and articulates ritual practices from West African, Caribbean, and Southern religious and vernacular sculptural traditions as he incorporates everyday materials often used as roadside memorials. Objects, such as plastic toys, baby dolls, stuffed animals, and fake flowers are often left as grave markers to identify and honor the site of a victim lost in violence. Mansa’s assemblage practice poetically evokes mourning and loss, encouraging a conversation surrounding racism and Black deaths.
Mansa’s latest black monochrome series emote a dark, somber experience. Large scale toys jut off the canvas and into the physical space of the gallery. These highly complicated pieces are constructed to feel off-kilter and unsettled while at the same time connected. While conjuring feelings of shock of sudden, and preventable, loss, they also allow space for grief, inviting us to look deep into the individual elements that comprise each sculpture and ultimately, to look deeper within ourselves.
T. Eliott Mansa was born in 1977 lives and works in Miami. Mansa received a BFA from the University of Florida (2000) and an MFA from CUNY-Hunter College (2018). In 2020, Mansa presented For those gathered in the wind, a solo exhibition at LNS Gallery in Miami curated by Donnamarie Baptiste. A catalog accompanied the exhibition. Additional exhibitions include David Castillo Gallery (Miami), Rush Gallery (Brooklyn, NY), and Galerie Myrtis in Baltimore, MD. Mansa received the 2019 Ellies Creator Award from Oolite Arts and was also a recipient of Green Space Initiative Grant. Mansa has participated in studio residencies at Artpace San Antonio and Oolite Arts.
The Oolite Collaborations series celebrates the Center’s and Oolite Arts foundational work in advancing the creative and professional practices of emerging South Florida visual artists. This cross-county partnership of the two organizations provides a unique discourse comprised of first-time exhibitions featuring new work, plus written essays and support programming.
Niama Safia Sandy is a New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, producer, and multidisciplinary artist. Her creative practice delves into the human story - through the application and critical lenses of culture, healing, history, migration, music, race, and ritual. Niama Safia Sandy’s aim is to leverage history, the visual, written, and performative arts, chiefly those of the Global Black Diaspora, to tell stories we know in ways we have not yet thought to tell them and to lift us all to a higher state of historical, ontological and spiritual wholeness in the process.
A text for the exhibition will be written by Niama Safia Sandy. Sandy is a New York-based curator, anthropologist, producer, multidisciplinary artist, and educator. The exhibition is organized by Meaghan Kent, Curator of Exhibitions at the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. Our great thanks to LNS Gallery for their support and loan of artworks.
Artist Talk with T. Eliott Mansa and Niama Safia Sandy
The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported in part by its members, admissions, private entities, the City of Hollywood; the Broward County Cultural Division, the Cultural Council, and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners; the Florida Department of State Division of Arts and Culture; the David and Francie Horvitz Family Foundation; and the Josephine S. Leiser Foundation. We welcome donations from all members of the community who wish to support our work.