This year’s annual Roosevelt Lecture, part of the Eleanor Roosevelt Lecture series dedicated to social justice and women’s history, celebrated the impact of critically acclaimed painter, sculptor, installation artist and videographer Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons. The focus was a display of her video “Rite of Initiation Sacred Bath (1991)” and images of her installation piece “Alchemy of the Soul, Elixir for the Spirits (2015).” The event was sponsored by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program, the African and Afro-American Studies department, the division of Creative Arts, the department of Fine Arts and the Rose Art Museum.
Campos-Pons is the Vanderbilt Cornelius endowed chair of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University. Her work has been featured at the Rose Art Museum and other prominent galleries such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Introducing the event, Prof. Wendy Cadge (WGS), program chair of the WGS program, explained how influential Campos-Pons’ life was for her own immersion into the arts. Born in Cuba on the sugar plantation of Matanzas, Cuba, Campos-Pons’ work holds true to her complex ancestry, as she is of Nigerian, Hispanic and Chinese heritage, Cadge said.
Prof. Gannit Ankori (FA) explained that Campos-Pons’ art evokes stories of “the transatlantic slave trade, indigo and sugar plantations, oppression and resilience.” She said Campos-Pons’ work “highlights and echoes her complex heritage” by combining diverse media such as photography, performance, painting, film and video to metaphysically represent her experiences.
Full article at The Justice