Episode 2 Season 1: Emma Amos – Through Time and Space

Emma Amos

The canvas is bordered by what looks to be kente cloth. Against a bright blue background with slashes of yellow and strokes of black, a man in blue and white plaid pants – fear in his eyes – embraces a woman in a red and white plaid dress. She’s looked down – clearly distressed.  Not far from them is a stretching white rabbit and a overturned basket. Above the basket is a black and white bull’s eye. You feel the movement in your chest and you understand the couple’s terror. They are falling… not to the ground, but through space… maybe even through time.

This is the 1989 work by Emma Amos titled, “Target.” It’s a great example of multiple elements Amos built upon through her entire artistic career.

  1.  “Emma Amos”The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  2. Klacsmann, Karen T. “Emma Amos (b. 1937)”New Georgia Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. Murray, Al (3 October 1968). “Interview with Emma Amos”aaa.si.eduArchives of American ArtSmithsonian Institution.
  4. Ryan Lee Gallery, Emma Amos
  5. Olsen, Kristen (1994) Chronology of Women’s History
  6.  Greenberger, Alex (22 May 2020). “Emma Amos, Imaginative Painter Who Attacked Racism Through Figuration, Is Dead at 83”ARTnews.com. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  7. Cotter, Holland (29 May 2020). “Emma Amos, Painter Who Challenged Racism and Sexism, Dies at 83”The New York TimesISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 June 2020.
  8. Amos, Emma; hooks, bell; Valerie J. Mercer, & Valerie J. Mercer (1993). Emma Amos: Paintings and prints 1982-92 (Exhibition Catalog) (First ed.). Wooster, OH: College Of Wooster Art Museum.
  9. Miles G. and Moses Amos Papers, Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

December 6, 2020

Episode 1 Season 1: Your Host is an Artist

Your Host is an Artist

It’s been a while, but do you remember how resourceful I tried to be as a broke teenager? You remember how I wanted to paint like Bob Ross, but didn’t have any money for supplies?  How I could only afford two colors, so I chose black and white? I did a lot of those paintings.  Black, white and shades of grey.

In fact, your sister has one.  It’s of me in shorts and a tank top with one large, door-knocker earring in my left ear.  My hair is braided into a ponytail and I’m sitting on the steps of our porch at our house on Almond Drive.  I’m smiling with bare feet.  The painting used to hang on a wall when she had her house.  I don’t remember seeing it in her apartment.  I’m assuming it’s still there.            

One of those black and white paintings, the one titled, “Puzzle,” isn’t on canvas though.  It looks like it’s on butcher paper, but I’m pretty sure I remember painting it on a piece of paper bag.  I wouldn’t have had money for butcher paper. I remember trimming the edges so that no one could tell it was a grocery bag.  I was proud darn proud of myself then.

(The full essay titled, “Puzzle” was originally published in the Wilderness House Literary Review, Vol. 14 Number 4).

December 6, 2020