Sept. 16, 2021 -- A three-piece series of assembly art by Fredericton artist, Rhonda Simmons, will be featured in the New Brunswick Black History Society Heritage Centre, located on level two of Brunswick Square, in Saint John. The public is invited to attend the opening of Mind, Body, Spirit of the Enslaved at 1 pm on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021. Covid restrictions apply.
Rhonda Simmons is a descendent of Black Loyalists who came to New Brunswick in 1783 following the American Revolution. She is well known for her thought-provoking assembly art which often addresses issues of women, race, and power.
This three-part series was created during her artist residency at the Fredericton Region Museum and is intended to be an artistic interpretation of the museum's new exhibit, Our Black Heritage: Early Black Settlers of York-Sunbury Counties, 1783 - Present, which opened last month.
"Mind, Body, Spirit of the Enslaved unfolded as I listened to the stories incorporated within the Our Black Heritage exhibit. It became important to create what the slaves were about and not the who," Simmons says.
"This body of artwork, a three-piece series, encourages the viewer to really look through the slaves’ oppression of their mind, body, and spirit. It addresses their resilience by turning up the light on those who consistently underestimated slaves based on the colour of their skin."
"We are thrilled to have the honour of displaying Simmons’s beautiful and expressive artwork in our new Heritage Centre. The Mind, Body, Spirit of the Enslaved exhibit is certainly a remarkable piece created by an equally exceptional artist," said Ralph Thomas, co-founder and coordinator of the New Brunswick Black History Society.
Mind, Body, Spirit of the Enslaved is a new traveling exhibit, with the NBBHS’s Heritage Centre being its first stop. Funding for this initiative has been graciously provided by the City of Fredericton, Province of New Brunswick, and York-Sunbury Historical Society.
The New Brunswick Black History Society Heritage Centre is located at Brunswick Square, Level 2, 39 King St., Saint John, N.B., Canada, E2L 4W3. Phone: 506-214-2316.