Gullah Geechee and the 7 Dreams

Main Library. From Jan 23rd through Mar 31st, 2010.

Multidisciplinary artist Gary L. Moore is nationally recognized for his permanent public art installations and interventions that join African American pop culture and architectural context. Using the Library’s Permanent Art Collection and other resources, Moore curated the project through the lens of the interests and influences that inform his work as an artist. This cultural framework includes South Carolina low country Gullah/Geechee culture, the anthropological writings of Zora Neale Hurston, the culturally-specific minimalist conceptual work of David Hammons, and the fiction of Toni Morrison. Bound together by the metaphysical connections between folk culture, low country mysticism, histories of slavery and revolution, and handmade aesthetics, the exhibition includes prints, paintings, and drawings by, among many others, Kabuya Pamela Bowens, Carlos Alfonzo, Ana Mendieta, and Elizabeth Catlett; Gullah craft and folk art; historic slave narratives and artifacts; books and print materials; and Moore’s own sculptural and site-specific work.

The “seven dreams” of the exhibition’s title refer to seven ways that Gullah/Geechee culture has survived and manifested itself. Moore uses dreams as a metaphor (for earth, water, speech, colors, music, materials and time) because of his belief that the culture has a metaphysical, magic quality. He writes, “Blacks living in the low country areas along the eastern seaboard (or as my Uncle Foster used to say, "salt water negroes") possess a mystical world view. The spirits of our ancestors who were denied full lives then are available now to complete their cycle of life through celebrating the visual culture they created.”

Born in the low country town of Pee Dee, South Carolina and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Gary L. Moore lives and works in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He received his BFA in sculpture at the University of Miami, (1992) attended the Whitney Museum of American Art: Independent Study Program (1990- 91), and has an MFA from Norwich University (1995). Moore has exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Walker Art Center, and Museum of Art of Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Moore's permanent public art installations are featured in Architectural Record, Landscape Architecture, Artforum and the New York Times Back Page.

Miami-Dade Public Library System
101 West Flager
Miami FL 33130

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