Catharsis: Spirit Leaves a Mark

Catharsis. Spirit Leaves A Mark is now on view from May 1st to July 31st 2019

Catharsis. Spirit Leaves A Mark’ is the latest PGAAMCC exhibit, depicting the duality of our emotions and the intensity of black womens’ expression and experience. These richly textured portraits are painted by local Prince Georges County artist Vanessa R Williams.

In this exhibit, everyday people are singing, smiling, introspecting and reflecting, caught in a frozen moment, an outtake of the careful and the carefree.

Williams deeply political and personal artwork, highlight the inner lives and private worlds of multi generational black women, and the pressure and paradox endemic to their struggle as matriarch, mother, nurturer and needy, caregiver and celebrity, songbird and ingenue, housewife and heroine, and many more identities and responsibilities.

The layers painted into the portraits features express the dichotomy of our spirits leaving a mark; the youthful and the aging in the never ending cycle of life, the veracity and chicanery of our belief in leaders and policy, the weary and the wellspring of hope springing eternal. Witness the characters making a joyful noise, and on the verge of tears; lifting every voice to sing, and cry out, jubilant and joyful, depressed and downtrodden they are simultaneously burdened and buoyant. And they all have a need for Catharsis: a channeling of emotions and release from tensions.

The knowing glances of the figures is a portal to our own lived experience correlating to the energy of our spirit, as it leaves a mark. Their Catharsis is also ours, they purge through us, and in turn we are transformed and renewed.