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This book invites readers into a growing, dynamic conversation among scholars and critics around a vibrant community of artists from an African American South. This constellation of creative makers includes familiar figures, such as Thornton Dial Sr., Lonnie Holley, and quiltmakers Nettie Young and Mary Lee Bendolph, whose work is collected in major museum and private collections. The artists represented extend to lesser-known but equally compelling creators working across a wide range of artistic forms, themes, and geographies. The essays gathered here, accompanied by a generous selection of full-color plates, survey subjects such as the artists' engagement with enslavement and liberation, the spiritual and religious dimensions of their work, the technical aspects such as the common use of assemblage as an artistic medium, the links between art and biography, and the evolving status of their reception in narratives of contemporary, modern, southern, and American art.
Contributors are Celeste-Marie Bernier, Laura Bickford, Michael J. Bramwell, Elijah Heyward, Sharon P. Holland, and Pamela J. Sachant.