What the Mirror Said: Black Women of Print

print of woman braiding her hair
Chloe Alexander, I didn't recognize you, you changed your hair, silkscreen, 2021, 11 x 20 in.

March 7 – April 14, 2022
- Lecture by Chloe Alexander on March 28, at 4:30 p.m., Griffiths Arts Center Room 123
- Artist's residency with Chloe Alexander, March 28, 11 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., March 29, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Noble Center Maurer Family Studio Room 101

lucille clifton poem

What the Mirror Said is an exhibition that borrows its namesake title from a poem published in 1980 by the legendary African American poet, Lucille Clifton. Clifton’s words are written as an affirmation to Black women and serve as a mapping to guide Black girls and women to see themselves as a reflection of grandeur, of boundlessness, where society has localized their being.

This exhibition is an invitation into the collective imaginings of several Black women printmakers who have turned the gaze inward—as a mode of self-reflexivity and autonomy. In our largest group exhibition to date, Black Women of Print utilizes printmaking as a device to recollect and visually narrate how the artists see themselves and the world around them and to imagine otherwise.1 -Tanekeya Word, exhibition curator

Chloe Alexander     Dr. Deborah Grayson          
LaToya M. Hobbs     Ann Johnson     Delita Martin 
Althea Murphy-Price     Karen J. Revis
Stephanie Santana     Tanekeya Word

I wanted to create a place where intergenerational Black women printmakers could form bonds like those of Margaret Taylor Goss Burroughs and Elizabeth Catlett. From mid-career to established printmakers, it is my hope that we all can learn something from one another, support one another, and also have a home so that the world can get to know the intersectional narratives of Black womanhood and our creative processes. 
-Tanekeya Word

Black Women of Print was founded in October 2018 by Tanekeya Word, a Black woman, visual artist, art educator, scholar, and fine art printmaker who resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Word was interested in creating an equitable safe place for Black women printmakers who were underrepresented in the discipline of printmaking, a space that is often extolled as democratic.

1Sharpe, Christina. “Lose Your Kin.” The New Inquiry, 16 November 2016, and In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

In the media:

"Art exhibit carves new space for Black women printmakers," northcountryradio.org, April 2022.  The story features an interview of visiting artist Chloe Alexander by reporter Monica Sandreczki.