New Diggs Gallery Exhibits Feature Women Who Graced the Cover of JET Magazine and Drawings of Women With Their Favorite Literature, Through December 2

"WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- The pairing of two innovative exhibitions honoring women who graced the cover of JET Magazine, and drawings of young women with their favorite literature, is on display at Winston-Salem State University’s Diggs Gallery through December 2.

The exhibits, feature works by renowned artist Willie Cole, and emerging artist Mario Moore.  An opening reception for both exhibits is scheduled for August 2 from 5-9 p.m. in the Diggs Gallery.  The event will be free and open to the public.

Flawlessly Feminine, Women Who Graced the Cover of JET Magazine and Works by Willie Cole

If we walked in her shoes and followed her path, we would learn of her pain, struggles, and fears. The iconic JET Magazine features women of color who defied insurmountable odds and blazed new trails. No two women who grace the magazine's covers are alike. Yet, out of ordinary circumstances they accomplished extraordinary feats. Cole's work embodies this beautiful transformation from average to excellence. He takes simple objects such as shoes and creates magnificence.

“At first glance, the commonality between the black female elegance portrayed on JET's covers and Cole's everyday objects may not be apparent. Like gold, however, the pure beauty, talent, and vision that each possessed was refined through intense heat. We see the glory as these women shine on the printed page without experiencing the trials and failures that led to their ultimate success,” said Endia Beal, Diggs Gallery interim director and visiting assistant professor.

“In a similar way, Cole redefines used objects and produces works of art that gleam majestically with a new purpose. Whether people or objects, no great works are accomplished without a fire that brings forth the true essence of who we are and what we can become.”

Golden Lady, Works by Mario Moore
In 1973, singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder composed his classic ballad, Golden Lady. These lyrics renewed the meaning of love and exposed the inner beauty of his soulful, black, sun-kissed lady. He wrote, “To know the love and the beauty never known before, I’ll leave it up to you to show it.”

Mario Moore’s Golden Lady transcends the deeply rooted misrepresentation of women of color as Jezebels, mammies, or with unclothed bodies. Like Stevie Wonder, Moore desires for the viewers to see the internal presence these women possess. In a collaborative effort, each woman chose the clothing, the pose, and the literature that influences her thoughts. Together, the women unveil their true selves by modeling the image within.
The exhibitions are free and open to the public.  Diggs Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m., and the gallery is located on the lower level of the O’Kelly Library on the campus of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU). 

Named by The Smithsonian Institution as one of the nation’s best regional contemporary Africa-American art galleries, the Diggs Gallery at WSSU is one of the South’s leading showcases for African and African American art.  Through social engagement, public programs and exhibitions, the Gallery serves as a cultural meeting place where people of all walks of life can meet, share and enjoy the best of art."

- A Press Release

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