Two Years Without Shoes

featuring a selection of works by Mara Wilson

June 18 – July 13, 2018
opening reception: Friday, June 22 5-7pm

Artreach GW Community Gallery at THEARC
1901 Mississippi Ave SE
Washington, DC 20020

What is seen on the surface may not always reflect the complexity of a given situation or topic. The sculptures and mixed media pieces created by Mara Wilson during her two-year sojourn in Africa explore her experience as an African American living there. Ms. Wilson’s work is the tool used to share with others the beautiful paradox that is Limpopo Province, South Africa. These visual expressions attempt to challenge preconceived notions and stereotypes of what Africa represents, which is often a poverty-stricken, rural land supported by images of people who are co-dependent on others to save them from this harsh environment.

The goal of Ms. Wilson’s work is to create a genuine and accurate experience for the viewer. Through art, she creates authentic narratives that are accessible, culturally-sensitive reflections of the community represented.

Her recent works illustrate elements of her traditional sculpture background and training in ceramics, as well as her experience with newfound experimental mediums such as paper pulp. She conveys ideas through the use of other mediums such as book arts that imply interconnection with the works as well as the physical interaction between the different layers.

This collection of works is a visual embodiment of her experiences in Africa and her perspective shift, culturally, personally, and artistically as a result of her time there, learning what it means to be a South African.