Today: Apr 21, 2024

Multicultural Center exhibits art through words

Robin Glynn – Staff Writer

Pictures from Gabrielle Lynn McLemore’s art with words exhibit: “The Art of making Art out of Words”

Art is not just drawings or different pieces, and according to Gabrielle Lynn McLemore, Ph. D, her “Art With Words” exhibit has different themes and messages,

“You look at the pictures and you can see there are words if you look closely,” said McLemore, associate professor of biology at Morgan State. “It is my Afro-Centric interpretation of how people look. I use the map of Africa and I fit the words into the map of Africa. The map of Africa could be hair, it could be an eyebrow. It can be a number of things. I use that, basically, as a form that I put the words into.”

McLemore’s motivation to begin creating “Art With Words” started after a friend asked her to create an Afro-Centric piece as a graduation gift.

She took two maps of Africa and had them face each other; one being male, the other, female.

“I say for the Multicultural Center,” said Dian Brown-Albert, coordinator for Multicultural Student Activities, “we thought it would be important to have Dr. McLemore’s exhibit her on campus because it gives all students the opportunity to learn about the African American features that she has placed within the pictures, but also the themes within each piece.”

Besides the pictures, McLemore has create jewelry pieces, which are included in the exhibit.

McLemore says that she has created the jewelry since 2002 and that each piece is Afro-ethnic. She says that we are from kings and queens.

“Queen! Adore yourself enough to adorn yourself with Cowery Queen Jewelry” is McLemore’s motto when it comes to her jewelry pieces.

Art student Carly Barnes was excited when she found out that the exhibit was coming to Southern.

“I saw some pieces over the summer,” said Barnes. “I love the African American art. Seeing it in college brings me home.”

As an art major, Barnes says she appreciates the balance and texture that McLemore has used.

“You don’t have to give up your passion in order to have a career,” said McLemore. “I’ve always drawn. I’ve always made jewelry. I’ve always done something artistic throughout my struggles with trying to get my degree in science. That is an important message.

“She focuses on a certain look but it is versatile,” said Barnes. “I see community and fellowship in her pieces.”

A common theme seen throughout the exhibit is LOVE. McLemore defines LOVE as Loyalty to the Supreme, to self and to society; Orderliness of mind, body and soul; Virture, having moral excellence and honor; and Empathy, having compassion for others.

“She talks about loving yourself in some of them,” said Brown-Albert. “It is important to appreciate who you are and where you come from, no matter if you are African American, Caucasian, or Hispanic. The themes together are so powerful.”

Brown-Albert said part of what the Multicultural Center does is  provide programs to show awareness and appreciation of cultural diversity. She said that this is important, and it is shown in the exhibit.

“I have always said to follow your dreams and continue to love yourself,” said Brown-Albert. “I love that message coming from Dr. McLemore.”

Barnes said that McLemore’s and her “Art With Words” exhibit has been an inspiration.

“It inspired me to stick to my roots. Don’t be afraid to stick to African American art,” said Barnes.

The exhibit runs through Oct. 6. A reception, featuring McLemore will be held on Sept 27 at 5:30 p.m.

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