Last summer, while visiting Philadelphia, I took time to see Nari Ward: Sun Splashed at The Barnes Foundation. I accomplished two firsts with my visit. It was my first time visiting The Barnes Foundation in its new location and my first time experiencing Nari Ward's phenomenal works. Both experiences left me awe-struck. The Barnes was an exemplary exhibition space for the more than 30 contemporary sculptures and found-objects works by Ward. His cross-cultural artworks influenced by his Harlem home base, Caribbean roots, and international travel, spoke to me on many levels. The found-objects, recycled into whimsical and compelling pieces of art, examine black history, power, politics, and the diaspora.
During my visit, a few months before the historic November 2016 election, the piece that lingered longest with me was Ward's We the People, a 96 x 324 inches work of shoelaces. The exhibition is no longer at The Barnes Foundation, but it can be seen at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston through September 4, 2017.
With the current divisiveness and charged political climate across America, now is a good time to visit the words, "we the people," from an artistic perspective. Ward's interpretation expresses the real meaning of the words.
Vist: Nari Ward