Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Curator's Notes: Spotlight on Wilhelmina Obatola Grant

Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Ms Cake Cutter, 2015

Wilhelmina Obatola Grant is amazing!  She is a prolific artist, author, teacher, and the director/founder of SISTAAH: Survivors Inspiring Sisters Through Art and Advocacy  Health.  Wilhelmina is another person who inspired this show: her art, her work and her book about surviving breast cancer twice! - which led to making art, becoming a full-time artist and teaching art (mainly to seniors) using various media.  One of her shopping sprees at Materials for the Arts' warehouse in Long Island City was broadcast on television this past summer. 

Wilhelmina Obatola Grant, Time into Eternity, on the cover of 
A Feeling of Fullness: Insights of a Divinely Guided Journey Beyond Breast Cancer, 2016.

Wilhelmina has combined her practice of making art with her ability to talk about art and issues in several effective ways.  Her whole body of work speaks to us about survival through renewal. Made from discarded materials, she gives each collage element in her work a new life, albeit a different life.  For example, a grater ceases to function in the kitchen, but instead gives texture and iconographic meaning to Ms. Cake Cutter.  On her website, we hear Yolanda Adams' Still I Rise intone: "Shattered but I'm not broken." which urges us to persevere in the face of illness, pain and loss.  Today, Wilhelmina's unshakable optimism shines a light on not only breast cancer survival, but all kinds of challenges that test our fortitude and resolve to keep going.  (Today, we are thinking of the survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.) 

Wilhelmina Otabola Grant graces the red sofa during Art Above the Sofa 2017,
within she exhibited several works of art.

Through SISTAAH, Wilhelmina has developed fun (yes, fun!) interactive lessons on breast cancer awareness, self-examination, early detection and facts about BC. Through these valuable educational opportunities, she saves lives by spreading the wisdom: early detection leads to early treatment and, hopefully, eradication of the cancer cells. 

Bosom Bodies: An Exhibition in Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month is dedicated to SISTAAH because we believe that Knowledge is Power.  All purchases for Wilhelmina's work fund SISTAAH.

Bosom Bodies is a New York Arts Exchange project, curated by Beth S. Gersh-Nesic, director and owner of NYAE:  www.nyarts-exchange.com 

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