Art Reception: Heirlooms & Stories
March 31, 2022
In honor of Black History Month, Gallery 1832 is delighted to present Heirlooms & Stories. An exhibit showcasing the works of Rocky Cotard, Susan Thompson, Sandrea Lovelock-Williams.
Family heirlooms connect generations and keep both a family and its community’s story and legacy alive. Our three artists share these stories, through the medium of painting, textiles, and quilts.
The collection not only shares stories through visual depiction, but also chronicles a story from the creator and references the historical and cultural context of its creation, through the choice in design, material, and content.
Make sure to register to join and meet our artists!
Rocky Cotard, born in Mirebalais, Haiti and raised in Boston Massachusetts, USA, places himself between two cultures as a bridge for artistic international connections. He draws inspiration from artists like Gontran Durocher, Phillipe Dodard, and Ronald Mevs. He returns to Haiti on a yearly basis informing his work on experiential research. His body of illustrations depicts the perspective of the Haitian Diaspora, in defiance to the narrow representation of it through media.
Cotard’s paintings, prints, and illustrations dig into his identity and lineage to collect his history, to reclaim his narrative, and to build cultural pride. His work portrays a wide range of color, the use of bold figures that demand attention, and improvisation. Conceptually the work fights the unbalanced power by raising the people who have been generalized and making them into icons where whose power is present and staring back.
Susan Thompson is a textile, fiber and mixed media artist who lives and works primarily in the Greater Boston area. At Hunter College of the City of New York, she became interested in African American History and the visual arts. Her concern for the development of mutually supportive relationships between African American artists and their communities led her to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she was a Research Associate in the Community Fellows Program. Ms. Thompson has exhibited widely in Massachusetts and other parts of the United States. She has participated in cultural exchanges in Haiti, Cuba, People’s Republic of China, Japan and with Native American artists in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Her work reflects the diverse cultural influences that she has encountered in her travels abroad and in her own cultural heritage. Through fabric, she creates unique designs, which sometimes tell stories that communicate the struggle and soul of her people.
Susan has created public art for the MBTA Orange Line, the Parks Department, the Harriet Tubman House, the Afro-American Museum, schools and other organizations. She is currently an artist-in-residence in the African American Master Artist in Residence Program at Northeastern University. She retired from the Artful Adventures Program at the Museum of Fine Arts in 2016. She has been a consultant for the Gardner Museum, the Children’s Museum and the Boston Aquarium. She currently teaches at Paige Academy. Susan Thompson feels passionately that her own craft as well as those of others should be celebrated and passed down to future generations.
In her fifth year of teaching, Sandrea Lovelock-Williams teaches painting and an inaugural “Art History of the World” course at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School. When asked what inspired her to become an art teacher, Sandrea said, "When I was in school I didn’t have any art teachers that looked like me. I only had one year of art in high school, and then I went to a Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) after-school program. I grew up in Boston for the most part and [the program] was for Boston Public School students. We got a chance to go to the museum three days a week, while everyone else was in school. Because we didn’t really have an art program, particularly in the high school that I went to, the MFA provided that for us. We would get assignments, go to exhibitions—it was pretty amazing. The MFA is like my second home. But for the most part when I went to the after school program they were lacking in representation. I got to be in a lot of cultural spaces from the program, but usually when I was in those spaces I was in them by myself. Even when we were in New York to visit the Met it was lacking in a lot of representation, so one of the things I wanted to do was give students that look like me the opportunity to see women of color in positions where they don’t normally show up."