In 1974 Ntozake Shange debuted her critically acclaimed theatre piece “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuff.” From several Broadway and Off-Broadway showings to a movie adaption, the poetic monologues continue to influence artists today. In honor of the 40th anniversary, 21 Harlem artists team up for an exhibit titled “I Found God in Myself” curated to run this fall at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture with satellite showings at The Sol Studio and La Maison d’Art.
All the artwork created for the exhibit was inspired by Shange’s monologues, which explored women’s issues such as love, loss, rape, empowerment and sisterhood.
One of the artists part of the exhibit is 28-year-old Harlemite Pamela Council. Council created a purple disco ball made of acrylic nails and lavender velvet with acid burns for her piece. “Purple Girl Swirl” reflects the part of the monologue that highlights a woman’s pain, scars and desire to dance. Another artist is Beau McCall, who took six months crafting a vintage claw tub into an embellished symbol for the show. McCall’s piece reflects a character who takes a bath to cleanse herself after a sexual encounter.
“We want to reflect the community and the community’s diversity,” said Peter Wright, who commissioned the works.
The exhibit will feature a live talk with Shange on Oct. 15 and will run through Jan. 3, 2015. To purchase tickets visit Artcrawlharlem.com.