Hammonds House Museum photographed by Michael Moss.

The Hammonds House Museum is celebrating their 35th anniversary with exhibitions, events, remembrances, and public programs. During a recent livestream update Managing Director Donna Watts-Nunn was joined by Board President W. Imara Canady as they discussed the programming for the year to come. 

The year’s exhibitions will kick off with Insight: Body as Artifact, Archive and Memory which is on view through April 2. This exhibition of works by Atlanta-based photographer and multimedia artist Tokie Rome-Taylor will explore memory and how visual reminders connect to both real and imagined history. Rome-Taylor’s art communicates through a symbolic language that unites spoken family history with research-based methods to inspire conversations about family, culture, and traditions of African Americans in the south.

An So I Stepped Forward And Discovered Web by Tokie Rome-Taylor. Archival Pigment Photograph on cotton rag.

“I position black bodies in a space that leans into the past, reaching back to address the erasure of worth in how black bodies are perceived and represented,” reads Rome-Taylor’s artist statement on the Hammonds House website. “These traditions that we were able to preserve- such as the passing down of objects, making offerings to ancestors, and the use of material objects as spiritual devices, allow the resurrection of power and autonomy once denied.  My work stands in direct defiance of the erased history African Americans have experienced.” A gallery tour and artist talk with Rome-Taylor and curator Nitzanah Griffin on Thurs., Feb. 23 will offer unique insight into this artist’s work. 

On April 21 Hammonds House Museum will unveil a collection of sculptures, video installations, paintings, sound, and performances by award-winning and critically acclaimed artist Paul Stephen Benjamin. His thought-provoking works center an ongoing exploration of the color black which seeks to confront the viewer’s perception of Blackness. Benjamin’s work is expansive in nature, challenging preconceived notions of the Black experience through a multidisciplinary lens. Born in Chicago but now based in Atlanta, Benjamin has received a number of awards as well as recognition from the New York Times, Black Art in America, and a number of other reputable publications. 

This summer’s exhibition will feature works by Haitian-born American artist Eduoard Duval Carrié who uses traditional Haitian iconography to address issues such as religion and political conditions within a historical framework. Utilizing mixed media and installation, his pieces explore migrations and transformations. By employing reflective and translucent elements including glitter, glass, and resin, Duval Carrié inserts the viewer themself into the work and elicits a more personal and direct reception. Duval Carrié’s works will be on display from July 7 through October 1. 

Visitors will also have the opportunity to partake in tours, educational opportunities for students, lectures, performances, and free family days. The 2023 season will close out with selections from their private collection and The Gathering will occur on the weekend of September 22-24. A staple of the Hammonds House Museum’s anniversary celebrations, The Gathering will include a special recognition of every artist who has exhibited at the museum in the past 35 years.  

More information about Hammonds House programming can be found on the museum’s website

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Isadora Pennington

Isadora Pennington is a freelance writer and photographer based in Atlanta. She is the editor of Sketchbook by Rough Draft, a weekly Arts newsletter.