MoAD and the Lorraine Hansberry Initiative present
Artist Alison Saar and Poet Evie Shockley in Conversation.
To Sit A While (2022), by Alison Saar
“I invite you to take a seat. Congregate with friends to read poems or sing songs of resistance.
Gather with strangers to share ideas and dreams. Come alone and be inspired by the brilliance
of Lorraine Hansberry. Be inspired to find your own brilliance, be inspired to contribute to the
Lorraine Hansberry Initiative to support women and non-binary artists of color, gift them the time
and the space...to sit a while and think.” —Alison Saar
Join us for a celebration of Lorraine Hansberry and artist Alison Saar, who pays homage to Hansberry with the installation To Sit A While (2022) on view at MoAD April 5-May 1, 2023. Saar will be in conversation with poet Evie Shockley, whose new collection, suddenly we, features Saar's artwork on the cover. A book signing will follow the conversation.
Alison Saar is a contemporary American artist who addresses ideas of race, gender, culture, spirituality, and humanity through her figurative sculptures and paintings. “The pieces always feel like children to me, in that they have their own personalities and their own needs and desires, and their own abilities,” Saar has said about her life-sized artworks. Often commissioned for public installations, one of her best-known works is the fantastical Spring (2011), a bronze sculpture of a young woman with tree roots growing out of her hair and butterflies adorning their branches. Born on February 5, 1956 in Los Angeles, CA, Saar earned a BA from Scripps College in 1978 and an MFA three years later from the Otis Art Institute (now Otis College of Art and Design). Though primarily a sculptor employing a variety of materials—wood, glass, metal, and found objects—the artist also creates prints and illustrations that explore themes similar to those expressed by her three-dimensional bodies. A recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowships, Saar currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Her work can be found in the collections of the Walker Institute in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the High Museum in Atlanta, among others.
Poet & literary scholar Evie Shockley thinks, creates, and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon. Her books of poetry include suddenly we (forthcoming March 2023), semiautomatic, and the new black. Her work has twice garnered the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, has been named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and has appeared internationally. Her honors include the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, and the Stephen Henderson Award, and her joys include collaborating with other like-minded artists. Shockley is the Zora Neale Hurston Distinguished Professor of English at Rutgers University.
Learn more about The Lorraine Hansberry Initiative
Made possible by
The Lorraine Hansberry Initiative is a project of The Lillys, an organization dedicated to women in theater.
To learn more about the sculpture and the Lorraine Hansberry Initiative, visit https://lorrainehansberryinitiative.org/.
Programs, Residencies & Awards
Explore the many opportunities and experiences hosted at MoADLearn MORE