February 23, 2023 - March 31st, 2023
As we began to discuss the meaning behind the works selected for our show celebrating Black History Month with the featured artists, what became clear to Harsh Collective was an urgency to share and protect the history and culture of the artists’ respective communities. In conversation with Beverly Smith, a textile based artist featured in the show, she explained her choice of patchwork in her quilting. Smith describes that just like in patchwork quilts, the traditional African kente cloth uses a variety of fabrics and patterns which are then woven together; this use of tightly woven and varying fabrics was meant to make it more difficult for evil spirits to work their way into the material. Just as the tightness of kente cloth is a safety precaution, the connectedness within and between Black communities serves as a method of preservation from forces which constantly work to suppress and disenfranchise them. In honor of this material and social intimacy we have heard described by our artists, we have decided to title this show “Tight Knit.”
To achieve our goal of supporting and advocating for underrepresented artists we will be donating 10% of our gallery commission to the Studio Museum in Harlem in honor of Black History Month. The Studio Museum hosts education and public programs for their local community as well as artist-in-residence programs for artists of African and Afro-Latinx descent.