Home Features Dolls, Idols and Ideals exhibition highlights cultural identity

Dolls, Idols and Ideals exhibition highlights cultural identity

Emilio Maldonado sculpture from Dolls, Idols and Ideals exhibit

Artists Kimberly Camp and Emilio Maldonado are the focus of a new exhibition presented at the InLiquid Gallery in the Crane Arts Building in South Kensington. Dolls, Idol, and Ideals will run from Feb. 29 through April 20.

The centerpiece of the exhibit is a collection of 15 one-of-a-kind handmade dolls created by Camp. The collection features explorations of the artist’s Geechee ancestry, explorations of the history of black culture in the United States, studies of African Diasporic history, as well as her own family history.

Maldonado’s sculptures are influenced by the traditional architecture of the Dominican Republic as well as objects and attire related to Dominican Gaga rituals.

Both artists draw from the shared continental experience of blackness by exploring their shared and personal cultural heritages.

Camp is a Camden native who is the president and CEO of the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, holds the same titles at the Barnes Foundation and is the founding director of the Smithsonian Institution Experimental Gallery.

Camp combines storytelling and comedy to celebrate and broaden what if means to be African American through historical and cultural artifacts in concert with her own paintings and dolls.

Maldonado is an Afro-Caribbean multidisciplinary artist who currently resides in Philadelphia. Maldonado interprets the narratives of the human condition through the lens of culture, poverty and trauma.

Maldonado serves as the artist relations director for Mural Arts Philadelphia and is a member of the 2021 cohort of Black Artist Fellows.

Philadelphia Youth Poet Laureate Oyewumi Oyeniyi will debut a poem in honor of the show. Second Thursday receptions will be held on March 14 and April 11 with the artists.

Other special events during the show’s run include a screening of The United Stated of Hoodoo by Oliver Hardt hosted by Danny Simmons on March 2, family-friendly storytelling with Sandra Gilliard on March 30 and a panel talk entitled On Blackness on April 13.

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