Artwork depicting historical Black experience opens Sept. 6 in Gallery 310

Carla Jay Harris display

The Marietta College Art Department is pleased to present “BITTER EARTH,” an exhibition by California artist Carla Jay Harris in collaboration with Dr. Brenda Stevenson, which will be on display for the majority of the fall semester.

The exhibition will be housed in Gallery 310 from September 6th through December 1st, with an artist reception from 3:30-5:30 p.m., Friday, October 14th. The artwork in Gallery 310 is shown courtesy of the artist and Luis De Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles, California.

Bitter Earth is a collaborative mixed-media installation project exploring the historical Black experience. Harris questions how did the shadow of Jim Crow impact the lives of her elders, and the broader question of what aspects of the past are remembered, represented, and reproduced in contemporary society?

The installation mirrors that of a living room — a familiar domestic space at the heart of a home. The walls of this space are papered with an original, but culturally and historically derived, pattern inset with distinctly chosen photographs inclusive of black females across generations, landscapes, and rituals during the Jim Crow era in the United States.

The paper consists of 12 panels that entirely cover the walls. The photographs were chosen — in large part — from the archives of the Library of Congress (the de facto national library of the United States.) The title is taken from the 1960s blues track “This Bitter Earth” written by Clyde Otis and sung by legendary blues women and rhythm and blues singers Dinah Washington, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Mikki Howard.

Gallery 310 is located on the third floor of the Hermann Fine Arts Center at Marietta College. Gallery hours are 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays, from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on Thursdays, or by appointment at Gallery 310 observes all Marietta College holidays and breaks. All exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.