Icons in Conversation: Alison Saar, joined by Samiya Bashir
Sunday, June 27, 2021
Icons in Conversation returns in a riveting way with world-renowned artist Alison Saar. Known for her powerful sculptures and prints that illuminate the lives and narratives of the African Diaspora, Saar’s work is featured in collections across the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The Studio Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and Sacramento’s own Crocker Art Museum.
Saar will discuss her past and current work, including her seminal 2016 piece, Hades D.W.P. II, which is in the Crocker’s collection and is featured in Legends From Los Angeles: Betye, Lezley, and Alison Saar. In the work, Saar collaborates with poet Samiya Bashir to create a visual simile between the contamination of Flint, Michigan’s water source, and the five rivers of the Greek mythological underworld: Lethe, Acheron, Cocytus, Phlegethon, and Styx. Hades D.W.P. II — part of a larger series that examines American rivers and their historical relationship to Black Americans — is a perfect work to discuss in Sacramento, where the American and Sacramento rivers converge to provide recreation, power, and irrigation for northern California and beyond.
Joining her is Samiya Bashir, a dynamic poet whose work focuses on the intersection of culture, change, identity, race, gender, the body, and sexuality. Currently the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Winner in Literature, Bashir holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served as Poet Laureate, and an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she received two Hopwood Poetry Awards. In October 2017 she was awarded the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s Individual Artist Fellowship in Literature, in recognition of individual artistic achievement and excellence to sustain and enhance her creative process. She has been the recipient of numerous other awards, grants, fellowships, and residencies. She is also a founding organizer of Fire & Ink, an advocacy organization and writer’s festival for LGBT writers of African descent.
Past Icons in Conversation presenters include Judy Chicago, Gregory Kondos, Richard Mayhew, Duane Michals, and Wayne Thiebaud. This program will be facilitated by Stacey Shelnut-Hendrick, the Crocker Art Museum’s Director of Education. Want to see more free or low-cost programs like this? Email email@example.com or consider making a donation. All gifts, large or small, are appreciated.
Free for members
$10 for nonmembers
Image: Alison Saar (American, born 1956), Hades D.W.P. II (detail), 2016. Etched glass jars, water, dye, wood, cloth and ink transfer, electronics, found ladles and cups, 30 x 50 x 16 in. Crocker Art Museum, gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., 2018.3. © Alison Saar. Photo: John Wynn / Lafayette Art Galleries.