Dynamizing the Portrait with Misty Sol
Build a collective vocabulary of liberation through the body.
Do our bodies tell stories that we don't have words for? What assumptions do painters make; what oppressions do they challenge or perpetuate in their representations of the human form? Inspired by Augosto Boal's Image Theatre, we will consider these questions as we move through a series of playful games and conceptual exercises that investigate and challenge representations of race, gender and class in the portrait and history paintings in Making American Artists: Stories From PAFA, 1776 - 1976. These theater exercises are meant to help us bring childlike openness to the exploration of serious themes so that we can look at visual art in new ways.
Misty Sol is a writer, visual artist, and performer from small-town Pennsylvania who creates art that explores Black people’s connections to nature, wellness, and speculation. Her paintings, children’s book illustration, stories, and eco practice are heavily influenced by Black history and aesthetics. Particularly, her grandmother’s history as a migrant farmworker, midwife, and gifted storyteller in early 20th century America. From her grandmother’s tales of dangerous journeys in the racist North and Jim Crow South, to her epic Bible tales and terrifying ghost stories, Misty’s work inherits a sense of narrative, sensuality, magic, timelessness, hope, the bucolic and fecund. But also contained are senseless abstractions, images of stark violence, and the weight of oppression. Ultimately she uses these elements to distill elements of dignity, legacy, humor, and connection. With acrylic color vibrant as her gardens, the gurgle of a stream, a hymn her grandmother used to sing, the smell of sauteed onions, and the coolness of garden soil, she creates a body of work that explores and affirms the nuanced experiences of Black people.
Class size: 20 people. Museum admission is included in the cost of registration.