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Two new exhibits opening at LCVA

The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts (LCVA) will have an opening reception Friday, Aug. 27, from 5 to 8 p.m. for its newest exhibitions, “The House We Build” and “Future Planets.”

Both exhibitions feature artwork created by parents and their children. “The House We Build” showcases paintings and drawings by James Williams II and his two young daughters, Indigo and Zoe. This exhibition is a dialogue between James and his daughters about various themes including family, friendship and race.

“Future Planets” also contains work by young, emerging artists and their renowned artistic parents. Both exhibitions are on view from August 28 to January 2, 2022.

“The House We Build” is an exhibition about family and a family exhibition that invites visitors to witness their intergenerational conversations through the art that emerges as a result of their dialogue. When Williams’ daughter, Indigo, was about 3, she began to ask her father questions about life. They would talk to each other about their experiences, which are reflected in their respective artwork. Years later, younger sister Zoe joined these evolving conversations. LCVA curator of exhibitions, Alex Grabiec, notes that, “both Indigo and Zoe’s artwork reflect the hopefulness and optimism of youth as they navigate and question our complex world. Their perspective is a valuable inspiration to James in his own work, which is tempered by the realities of his experiences as an adult.”

Williams’ artwork frequently examines the objectification of Black people and the Black construct in order to find humor and understanding in the inaccuracies and indecisiveness of racial classifications of Black Americans.

“My work centers on social and cultural identity in the United States tied together by self- portraiture and narrative,” Williams said. “It was two years ago during an attempt to make sense of race and visual representation for my 5-year-old daughter, Indigo, I began to see similarities between her anthropomorphic cartoons and the origin of racial constructs in America, particularly in Black Americans. Anthropomorphized animals and inanimate objects in traditional stories or Disney movies are relatable to children. One of the main purposes of these stories is to help children differentiate between what is perceived to be good and evil in this world, therefore leading to a biased understanding of race.”

Future Planets expands upon dialogue between children and their parents. This concurrent exhibition, which is curated by Williams, provides emerging artists ages 3 to 15 a space to showcase their limitless imagination and creativity. Their renowned artist parents are exhibiting alongside them.

Future Planets features drawing, paintings, sculptures, videos and installations created both individually and collaboratively by Tommy Bobo, Adrien Bobo, Elliot Bobo, Matt Bollinger, Anges Bollinger, Nakeya Brown, Mia Clarke, Richard Hart, Bailey Hart, Andie Hart, Phaan Howng, Malcolm Majer, Grae Shepherd- Majer, Arlo Shepherd-Majer, Lorie Kim, Julie Lee, Hein Koh, Ameila Koh Horowitz, Oneida Koh Horowitz, Caleb Kortokrax, Anges Kortokrax, Cecily Kortokrax, Lawrence Lee, Ana Lee, KJ Lee, Leo Kim, Leah Lewis, Biko Gates, Sangram Majumdar, Isadora Ruby Majumdar, Katherine Tzu- Lan Mann, Mae Voiland, Calvin Voiland, Mychaelyn Michalec, Frances Michalec, Mandy Cano Villalobos, Lucas Cano Villalobos and Luisa Cano Villalobos.

All visitors, faculty and staff will be required to wear a mask while visiting the LCVA, regardless of vaccination status.