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First Person: Stacks at Art League Houston (Houston, TX, USA)

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Stacks is on view at Art League Houston from November 16 through January 4, 2013. The exhibition was kicked off with collecting objects the artists defined as “negatively antiquated Black memorabilia and paraphernalia” which were then obliterated in a wood chipper at the opening.

The week prior to the opening, show curator Robert Pruitt and artists Jamal Cyrus, Nathaniel Donnett, Autumn Knight, Phillip Pyle II, and M’kina Tapscott requested the objects be dropped off at Art League Houston. Specific items the artists requested on their list included: family photos, Ebony and Jet magazines, Black light posters, Jazz albums you pretend you listen to, old school slow jam mix tape cassettes, scratched rap cd’s, Starter jackets, Obama 08′ stickers, etc.

Opening night, poet Douglas Kearney began the event reading a powerful series of eulogy poems. Then the wood chipper was started and a tense atmosphere filled the space as observers and even the artists watched in anticipation of what was going to happen, what the obliteration would be like, how would it work with the various objects, etc. A lasting image in my mind is the intact objects entering the machine and exiting with a poof.

The remainder of the exhibition will include week long residencies for each of the artists.

Stacks, curated by Robert Pruitt, is on view Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9am to 5pm at Art League Houston located at 1953 Montrose Blvd, Houston, Texas 77006 and is always free. For more information, please visit:

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Internationally unknown artist and post-Campbellite Emily Sloan is the founding reverend of the controversial Southern Naptist Convention and chief caretaker and curator of The Kenmore exhibition object. Sloan is based out of Houston, Texas where her practice includes education, performance, public art projects and object making.

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