Snitch Press Release



Adam Kamil Gallery, UCSD

La Jolla, CA, 92093

April 2 – 4, 2019, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Opening Reception April 2, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Free & Open to the Public

Snitch is an exhibition of drawings that investigates the social dynamics of religion and power in America and their effect on African American women. Power is an ever-present issue for black women in areas of sexuality, bodily autonomy, and self advocacy. African Americans are a predominantly Christian group and, with much of their cultural value being built upon religious belief, many systems of misogyny and patriarchy are still upheld. However, with great efforts, many African American women are working to dismantle the social systems that perpetuate oppressive and repressive norms by examining the sources of these culturally accepted ideologies. This exhibition intends to aid in that effort.

Africann American women have been the initiators of social justice movements like #MeToo, Womanist, and the Feminist Suffrage but have historically been the smallest beneficiaries. On average, church populations in predominantly African American communities are female, yet few churches allow for women to be primary church leaders leaving positions of power male dominated. Commonly, African American women are active participants in their communities, churches, and neighborhoods. Referred to as “Super Women” as they are seen to be able to “do it all” and are often the matriarchs of their families, bearing both the role of breadwinner and homemaker. Recent studies show that the stress endured by African American females has been the leading cause of heart disease, miscarriages, and psychological disorders. The strength of the African American female has been misrepresented as hypersexual, aggressive, and violent in attempts to justify heinous acts of violence against them. These socially discriminative perceptions have been linked to a high number of cases of maternal mortality, medical misdiagnosis, and premature death.

Using a variety of materials, this collection of drawing aims to find the connection between religion, power, and the African American Female, in hopes to uncover the causes of the aforementioned disparities. These drawings are graphite on black illustration board, with metallic highlights of gold and silver that illuminate various depictions within the space. The figures are stretched to extremes capturing cinematic frames of dynamic gesture. The content alludes to areas of life that are sacred for many, taboo for some, but necessary for all, raising questions of existentialism, spirituality, and sexuality.

Kimberly R. Heard is a draftsman currently living and studying in San Diego, CA. Kimberly is native Californian who lived in Birmingham, AL during her adolescence and early adulthood. Her work aims to decipher the learned from the intuitive; to understand the complexities of the African American existence and investigate the social politics that surround the black experience. Identifying as both Christian and an African American woman, the artist perceived herself as a ‘snitch’, dispelling cultural truths that would otherwise not be publicly addressed.

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