The Black Women’s Affinity Group (BWAG) at Madison College will host their “Honoring the Black Woman” Exhibit at the Truax Art Gallery, located at 1701 Wright St.
When longtime Madison College advisor Dzigbodi Akyea passed away last fall, BWAG decided to fulfill one of her dreams and create an exhibit created to honor Black women artists.
The free opening reception is tomorrow, Tuesday, February 1, from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The exhibit will run throughout the month of February. Jodie Pope Williams, Community Engagement Coordinator for Madison College and Chair of BWAG is excited to promote art by Black women to the Madison community.
“We affectionately call ourselves BWAG and say you can bwag about us,” Pope Williams said. “We are an affinity group at Madison College of Black women, and we were founded in June 2019. At that time, I had been working for Madison College for 11 years. When I had the idea to develop an affinity group, I reached out to colleagues of mine in various departments and said, ‘Hey, let’s start this group, come in, let’s do some interest-based work in brainstorming what we want this to do and what we want this group to be’.”
There was a scholarship created in honor of Dzigbodi Akyea to support Black women students at Madison College. Herself a graduate of Madison College, Pope Williams said this event is important because it was created by and centered around Black women and Black women artists during Black History Month.
“It’s the first day of Black History Month,” she said. “I’d argue that Black women have carried this country for a very long time. To be able to sit in a space where, not only was the idea of it was created, planned, and carried out by black women. It’s something that I’m proud to be a part of. I think that we’ve received an overwhelming interest n what we’re doing. There is a scholarship in Dzigbodi’s honor that will benefit Black women students at Madison College. While this is not a fundraiser, we also hope that people support with their dollars, ensuring that this scholarship continues to do the work that Dzigbodi did for over 17 years.”
Attendees of the event will have to follow the COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all visitors. There will also be soul food appetizers provided at the exhibit.
“We are adhering to the public health guidelines,” said Pope Williams. “Masks are required. And we’ve created a flow to the gallery. there’s one entrance, there’s one exit. We will be utilizing the larger open gateway space for the reception, which is right by the gallery. We were excited that we received approval from our catering department to go outside and support a Black woman caterer. Melly Mell’s Soul Food is doing some appetizers for our event.”
Pope Williams also hopes that some of the art in the exhibit will be bought in support of Black women artists. This event is important because it was created by and centered around Black women and Black women artists.
“I think it would also be a great success if every piece ended up sold,” said Pope Williams. “So we’re investing and putting our dollars not only for our Black Madison College students, but for this scholarship, and to invest in Black art.”