Artist Talk and Reception: Kristin Nowlin
|Thursday, 03 Oct 2019 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
|3228 Memorial Union
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This body of work appropriates and re-presents images used in popular ephemera of the 1920s-1950s, including, among others, Norfolk and Western Railroad travel brochures promoting Virginia as "the land of romance, hospitality, and beauty"; Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix ads; and Maxwell House Coffee ads. The original, idealized images that these advertisements featured are challenged and expanded in the black and white woodblock prints. By changing facial expressions, inserting new characters, or modifying hand gestures Nowlin question our assumptions and stereotypes about race and the sentimental tendencies of this print media. New narrative possibilities are explored and questions raised, often with no clear answer or story.
While this work is open to interpretation, her underlying criticism of the nostalgia for that era of our nation's history is expressed in subtle, yet derisive, ways, often in the irony of the titles that are partly or entirely borrowed from the original commercial sources. The context of her response to these vintage print materials resides in Nowlin's 25-year marriage to an African American man and their mixed son.