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Documenting Freedmen's Towns with Artist Letitia Huckaby




Texas based photographer and artist Letitia Huckaby joins me today to talk about her multimedia artwork that combines both photography and textiles to depict family narratives and African American history.


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 from the University of North Texas in Denton. Huckaby has exhibited as an emerging artist at Phillips New York, the 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, the 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; 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 was 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 Crystal Bridges Museum. Ms. Huckaby was a Fall 2020 Art Pace Artist in Residence and is represented by the Talley Dunn Gallery in Dallas. Ms. Huckaby is the Co-Founder of Kinfolk House, a collaborative project space that inhabits a 100-year-old historic home, where community and art converge in the predominantly Black and Latina/e/o neighborhood of Polytechnic in Fort Worth, Texas and she is Texas Artist of the Year 2022.



“This project documents two residential blocks. One block is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Haskell Place in a neighborhood adjoining historic Greenwood. The 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre desecrated the Greenwood neighborhood—one of the most prosperous African American communities in the early 20th century. The other residential block is located on St. Charles Street in the town of Greenwood, Mississippi—the namesake of the district in Tulsa and the birthplace of my father.

For this project I traveled to both locations, documented these city blocks, and framed them together as a way to visually tie the two locations together. The images are printed onto cotton fabric and framed in embroidery hoops hinged together, to speak to the bifold frames people displayed of loved ones in their homes. At its most basic level, this project is about home and connectedness. The work speaks to the desire for a people to build a home of their own, the struggles that hinder the “American Dream” for far too many of its citizens, and a present nostalgia (living in a state that is linked heavily to the past).”






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