Noontime Art Talk: Picturing Freedom: Pedro Tovookan Parris’s Autobiographical Landscape

Thursday, October 13, 2016,

Upper Jetté Gallery

Director of the New England Arts and Architecture Program Martha J. McNamara will discuss the 1856 autobiographical landscape drawn by Pedro Tovookan Parris currently on view in the exhibit, A Usable Past: American Folk Art at the Colby College Museum of Art. Parris’s drawing tells the story of a harrowing journey from East Africa, where he was enslaved as a child, to Rio de Janeiro, Boston and, ultimately, to the small western Maine town of Paris. By linking personal experience with political concerns in a single visual narrative, Tovookan’s imagery causes us to recognize the complex, traumatic legacy of slavery and to understand how it shaped his experiences as an African man living in a rural community in antebellum New England.

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