WVa art exhibit celebrating Black women ending this week

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. (AP): An art exhibit at Shepherd University featuring acrylic canvas paintings of Black women who have made significant contributions to history is ending Saturday.

“Physical and Spiritual Bodies” pays tribute to nine women who have excelled in history, civil rights, sciences, math, education, arts, engineering, medicine, business and sports. Among the women featured are pioneering mathematician Katherine Johnson and tennis star Serena Williams.

“In my paintings, I show figures that signify a fusion of Black women’s personal and cultural ties to the four elements — earth, air, fire, water — as well as the void, or powerful energy surrounding one’s soul,” artist Chiquita Howard-Bostic said in a news release.

Howard-Bostic chairs the Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Criminal Justice and serves as associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusivity at Shepherd.

The Scarborough Library exhibit started on April 4 and will end Saturday. The art can also be found virtually on the library’s website.

“The images are fearless, gorgeous, and reveal an extraordinary visual artist with a strong message to us all about the resiliency and power of Black women,” said Sylvia Bailey Shurbutt, director of the Center for Appalachian Studies and Communities.