NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 3 - Fall 2018 - Page 50

Describe your feelings in making work vis-a-vis seeing your work exhibited? I want to make work that matters. I created Requiem for Charleston in response to the 2015 murder of the nine men and women by a White supremacist at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in South Carolina. Like many of us, I was overcome with sadness and rage. That piece now hangs in the Lincoln Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is part of its permanent collection. k Euretta F. Adair, 2018 Graphite and conté pencil on paper 33 1/4” by 47” m Ida Mae Caldwell, 2018 Graphite and conté pencil on paper 33 1/4” by 47” Earlier this year I received an email from one of the relatives of several of the victims, a woman who lost her mother, her cousin and a childhood friend. She had seen my Smithsonian interview online. In her email, she thanked me “from the bottom of her heart.” A month later, she and her daughter met me in Washington, DC , where they had a private tour of the work before the museum opened to the public. Afterward, we just hugged and cried. That was the most emotional experience I’ve had in either creating or exhibiting a work of mine. It was humbling to know that the work somehow contributed to her healing process.