Margaret Rose Vendryes gives her dynamic female performers agency and protection in her celebrated African Diva Project, replacing their psychological masks with literal ones.
Margaret is an artist, lecturer, historian, author and curator with a bachelor's degree in Fine Art and master's and doctorate degrees in Art History. She began The African Diva Project in 2005 and has expanded the project into an outstanding exhibition that questions the role of race and gender identification in contemporary African and African American communities. Each canvas features a full- figure portrait of a popular black female soloist. Each wears an African mask, chosen for its character and/or aesthetic compatibility to her image, either an actual mask or a mask painted on paper, and applied to the canvas in the place of her face. Songs ... messages that once rose out of vinyl channels, like black magic, are inscribed in the space that surrounds them.
The exhibition will be accompanied by the music of each artist.
December 9, 2014 - March 7, 2015
OHR-O'KEEFE Museum of Art
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino Gallery
386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39530
Artist Talk: January 17, 2015
Image: Puna Janelle, African Diva, 2014
Oil and cold wax on canvas and wood African mask, 60" x 30"