And Thy Neighb(our)

Letitia Huckaby

In Residence: Sep 28 – Nov 20, 2020

Exhibition: Nov 19, 2020 – Jan 10, 2021

Letitia Huckaby has photographed figures and silhouettes throughout her career. In her Artpace exhibition And Thy Neighb(our), the artist expands this practice with new media and deepened interests as she here presents her subjects in the vein of Old Master paintings. This centuries-old style typically pictured Western European male subjects in paintings done by the hand of European male artists, a narrow view that Huckaby updates and democratizes. As suggested by the exhibition’s title, derived from a Biblical passage (Luke 10:27), And Thy Neighb(our) conjures and queries essential concepts for our globalist twenty-first century, including community, the collective, home, and identity.

All of the fifteen subjects portrayed by Huckaby identify as refugees or immigrants from countries with majority Black populations. Much of current immigration news centers on persons crossing the U.S./Mexico border. However, in photographing Black subjects, Huckaby presents those whose experiences may not be as visible but are nevertheless shortchanged and abused at every step of the immigration process. These subjects include social workers, students, a model, a seamstress, and business professionals—in essence, individuals who make valuable contributions to society wherever they reside.

Huckaby’s subjects were photographed against vintage, patterned bedsheets. Some of these backgrounds are vibrant and eye-catching, while others are simple and understated. In some of the works, the subjects selected the sheet patterns they most identified with; in others, Huckaby made the background selection herself, inspired by aspects of the subject’s story or led purely by aesthetic considerations. The resulting images were then printed onto cotton fabric, which itself possesses a loaded relationship to the histories of colonialism and slavery in North America.

Continuing her practice of presenting images within wooden embroidery hoops, Huckaby has increased the size of the hoops and images of figures to slightly larger than life. At the bottom of each, in thread color matching the silhouettes, Huckaby includes subtle text indicating the ethnicity or nationality of the subject. Each of the fifteen appears proud and regal, and the glow emanating from behind the figures portrays them as awe-inspiring and divine. This sensitive approach to depicting fifteen individuals from around the world underscores a reverence for their personal identity, experiences, and, indeed, their spirit.

Photo Credit: Beth Devillier
3D Tour Capture: Chris Mills

Gallery Notes PDF for “And Thy Neighb(our)”


Letitia Huckaby

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Letitia Huckaby has a degree in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma, a BFA from the Art Institute of Boston in photography, and her Master’s degree, also in photography, from the University of North Texas in Denton. As an emerging artist, Huckaby has exhibited at Phillips New York, Tyler Museum of Art, The Studio School of Harlem, Renaissance Fine Art in Harlem (curated by Deborah Willis, PhD), The McKenna Museum in New Orleans, Camden Palace Hotel in Cork City, Ireland, and the Texas Biennial at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. Her work is included in several prestigious collections, including the Library of Congress, the McNay Art Museum, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, and the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Huckaby is a featured artist in MAP2020: The Further We Roll, The More We Gain at the Amon Carter Museum, and State of the Art 2020 at The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum, both opened in the spring of 2020.

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Lauren Cross

Fort Worth, Texas, USA

Lauren Cross is an artist, curator, and scholar, who holds a BA in Art, Design and Media from Richmond, The American International University in London (2006), England, a MFA in Visual Arts from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA (2010), and a PhD in Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies from Texas Woman’s University (2017). She is currently Program Coordinator and Senior Lecturer of the Interdisciplinary Art and Design Studies (IADS) program at the University of North Texas, and founder of the arts non-profit WoCA Projects in Fort Worth, Texas.

Cross has been recognized nationally and internationally for her art practice and community work. Her work has been featured in museums and galleries across the US, and displayed at the 2015 Edinburgh Art Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland (UK). She received the Third Annual Visionary Award by Fort Worth Weekly magazine in 2013, and was named one of Dallas’s “100 Creatives” by the Dallas Observer in 2015. In 2018, Cross was selected as a Visiting Artist for the Center for Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art, and an inaugural Carter Community Artist for the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. In 2019, Cross was recognized as one of thirteen “Women Forwarding Fort Worth” by Fort Worth Magazine. Most recently, Cross curated the retrospective Vicki Meek: 3 Decades of Social Commentary at the Houston Museum of African American Culture.

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