Paying Reverence to The Altar of Memories | Seeing Ghosts: Revisited

By AimΓ©e M. Everett | On view Dec. 10 – Jan. 29, 2022 | Arthello Beck Gallery

The South Dallas Cultural Center is pleased to present artist AimΓ©e M. Everett and her new exhibition, Paying Reverence to the Altar of Memories and Seeing Ghosts: Revisited

Gallery statement from artist | Paying Reverence to the Altar of Memories

We are wells and chambers of memories. The brain retains or stores these information sequences to protect us, inform our decisions, and assist in critical thinking. There are memories that our brains hide deep within a maze, within a chamber, and sometimes will expose them when we are ready to begin the journey of processing. Recently, my memories have demanded my attention. 

In this series I am honoring the memories that have been difficult and traumatic to confront and honoring those that keep hope as a constant. It was important to use self portraits taken at different stages in my life and combine the line work and color saturation that runs through my previous work. The work is shown in different memory chambers with no real timeline order, some are separate recollections. This is how the memories present themselves in my mind.  I am investigating how I process these memories. Does the process of continued recollection remove a strain of truth with each recall? What will I find when I give space to a memory purposely forgotten? I am also releasing the power some of the memories hold, not to cast them into darkness again, but for acceptance. If needed, forgiving the events that created them. This series is a living portfolio, new pieces are added when the memory deserves attention. I am beginning this journey of processing to offer them and myself Grace.

Gallery statement from artist | Seeing Ghosts: Revisited

It is believed that the use of Haint Blue and any type of written word, can be used to ward off evil spirits. Haint Blue is prevalent in New Orleans. It is used on the roofs of porches and front doors. Haint Blue confuses the spirits, making them believe they are near water or the sky.

Click the image above to watch our In the Studio: Artist Talk with AimΓ©e M. Everett!

The newspaper forces the evil spirits to read all words before they can do harm. There are stories of people using newspapers as insulation or simply pasted to the walls. I saw this a lot growing up and never really understood their purpose. When I was asked to join the Bartlett Project, the word β€œGhost Town” was used often. It confused me as I saw a small town that had its own life. I researched extensively and only found minor nods historically to the Black community. This struck a chord with me and tied back into my not knowing why we performed certain rituals, cooked certain foods, or much of my cultural history in New Orleans. Black history is mostly an oral tradition. When we leave we take our stories and histories with us. The other sad truth to this is we are mostly erased and  forgotten by the majority. 

This piece is a blend of my offering of protection to the Black community in Bartlett and to highlight their history. While this is not all or the end, it’s important to honor those alive and gone.  The original form of this piece was destroyed due to the carelessness of those entrusted to protect the work. The smaller collage works are still mighty in their protection. They made it through the destruction and still highlight the beauty and perseverance that defines the Black community in Bartlett, Texas. This portfolio is also living as I am currently working with the community to include new families in this collection. Click to view photos from AimΓ©e M. Everett’s opening night.

The show is on view at the South Dallas Cultural Center, a facility of the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture, until January 29, 2022. The exhibition is free and open to the public. Click here for more art exhibitions at SDCC.