Dallas: Nasher Sculpture Center’s Nasher Public program, which launched late last year, has announced Vicki Meek’s Stony the Road We Trod as its fourth exhibition in the series. The storefront space of the museum, which has been coopted as a gallery for exhibitions of works by emerging and established artists, will remain the site for future exhibitions in the program until the Nasher’s shop reclaims the space in late 2021.
Meek’s exhibition follows other successful installations in the series, including works from Bernardo Vallerino, Giovanni Valderas, and most recently, Nyugen E. Smith. Stony the Road We Trod will be on view beginning Thursday, January 7 and run through February 14, with Meek’s show extended by an additional two weeks beyond the (thus-far) usual three weeks for Nasher Public exhibitions.
Stony Road coincides with Meek’s current retrospective exhibition at the African American Museum in Dallas titled Vicki Meek: Three Decades of Social Commentary, which is on view through March 21. Last year that traveling retrospective was concurrent, in its Houston iteration at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, with two other shows of the artist’s work in Houston.
Meek sees Stony Road, a lyric from the Black national anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” as a shrine to Black America. She writes in an email to Glasstire: “I don’t think I have ever been as excited to show a work as I am of showing Stony the Road We Trod: a shrine to Black America in this moment of America’s political history. 2021 is starting out with a bang as Black Georgians show the world, as they did in 2020, that Black Lives Matter in the most important way they can, with their vote!”
Stony Road, with its collection of objects familiar to Meek’s audience, mines elements of the Nigerian region’s Yoruba tribe, and Adinkra symbols from Ghana, to create a space of healing. The blue colors, symbolizing protection in some art from Africa, along with elements such as peat moss, marble chips, and white roosters (symbolizing the presence of ancestors), all combine to tell stories of resistance and resilience.
“As an artist obtaining a Master of Fine Arts at the height of the Black Power Movement,” says Meek, “it is not surprising that my work embraces a political outlook, especially given that my artistic idols are Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. The aesthetic I developed includes both the notion of utilizing text and symbolism derived from West Africa and other parts of the African diaspora, while striving to educate the viewer on lost history and social issues. I’ve explored imagery that is not rooted in polemics, but that prompts dialogue around cultural memory and identity.”
For more information on Stony the Road We Trod and Nasher Public, please visit the Nasher Sculpture Center’s website here.