The Visual Art + Design department at Southeastern Louisiana University is hosting an art exhibit by New Orleans-based artist Ruth Owens titled “Black Outdoors: Crossing Boundaries” at the university’s Contemporary Art Gallery, 100 E. Strawberry Stadium.
The exhibition is free and open to the public through and will include recent paintings and video works by Owens. Contemporary Art Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, and Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
As part of the exhibit, a public Zoom conversation between Owens and Gallery Director Cristina Molina will take place Tuesday at noon.
“The exhibition will debut a selection of works that expands the narrative around racial identity. Putting forth the concept that identity is fluid and open, Ruth Owens’ subjects cross boundaries that hold in fixed and stable constructs,” Molina said.
“The black and brown bodies in this exhibition venture into the outdoors, which has been historically an uninviting or dangerous space for people of color. The Great American Outdoors and the Arian alpine landscape have taken on meaning as a place for spiritual, physical, and psychological growth that does not include black people. ‘Black Outdoors’ crosses this boundary and examines both the healing power and the dangers faced by black people in these spaces.”
Owens was born in 1959 to a young German woman and a black serviceman from Georgia. Her childhood nomadic military lifestyle was complicated by restrictions to mixed families in many communities and laid the basis for the formation of her cultural identity and, therefore, her artistic practice, Molina explained.
Owens is a master of fine art graduate from the University of New Orleans and is a Joan Mitchell Center Artist in Residence. Her artwork is represented by Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, and she serves as a participating member in the artist-run collective, The Front, located in the New Orleans St. Claude art corridor.
Call 985-549-5080 for information.