B2 Gallery has extended the exhibition "Sweet Freedom's Jubilee" through June 9. The show features fiber artist Mary Johnson and sculptor Mar'zil Davis with works celebrating the 99th Anniversary of the death of Harriett Tubman.
Johnson's woven tapestries are breathtaking. Her depictions of the lives of slaves, it almost goes without saying, touch the heart. Visiting this show is almost like - albeit on a much smaller scale - like visiting the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. or like, I can only imagine since I've never been there, like visiting the Cape Coast Castle Museum in Africa where slaves were once held before being brought to America. The plight of slaves and the heroism of the Underground Railroad cannot but touch the hearts of any who visit this exhibition.
Johnson's tapestries have an intimate and homely feel. There is warmth of emotion even though the surface quality of her pieces has the crispness of a snowy winter morning.
Davis's sculptures are interesting as historic notes as they show the way many of the slaves lived, the tools they used and the way they dressed. But they are nowhere near as artistically satisfying as Johnson's tapestries. They look like typical porcelain figurines from an earlier era and - I hate to say it but it's true - they look so stereotypical and cartoonish that they would be seen as racist if done by a white artist.
B2 GALLERY/STUDIOS, "SWEET FREEDOM'S JUBILEE," THROUGH JUNE 9, 11 A.M. TO 5 P.M. TUESDAY-SATURDAY, 711 SAINT HELENS AVE., SUITE 100, TACOMA, 253.238.5065
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