October 19 - November 17, 2017
Eli Marsh Gallery • 105 Fayerweather Hall
Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts

Lecture Thursday, October 19th, 4:30 p.m.
Pruyne Lecture Hall, 115 Fayerweather

Beaded-Prayers-view

2017-2018 Amherst College Artist in Residence Sonya Clark is a Distinguished Research Fellow in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been exhibited in over 350 museums and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe and Australia. She is the recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner award, an 1858 Prize, Art Prize Grand Jurors Award, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award, a Red Gate Residency in China, a BAU Carmago Residency in France, a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Residency in Italy, a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship, a Knight Foundation Residency at the McColl, a Civitella Ranieri Residency in Italy, a Yaddo Residency, and a VCUarts Affiliate Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome.

Her work has been favorably reviewed in several publications including the New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Italian Vogue, Los Angeles Times, Hyperallergic, Mother Jones, and Huffington Post.

The Beaded Prayer Project

The title of the project came from the shared etymology of the words “bead” and “prayer”. The Old English word 'bede' became synonymous with ‘prayer’ because of the rosaries. The form, amulets containing powerful messages or substances comes from African Diaspora traditions. These amulets are usually worn on the body for protection, health, and power. Amulets containing prayers are found throughout the world. Some are collectively “worn” by being placed on architecture (e.g., Jewish mezuzahs paced on doorposts to protect inhabitants). The presentation of the project is born out of this strategy of communal adornment and collective empowerment via architecture and clothing.

Visitors to the gallery are welcome to make a beaded prayer, pin your contribution to one of the unfinished boards, clean up materials, and write your name on the participant list.

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