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American artist Nina Chanel Abney’s ” exhibition at the Henry includes recent collages and new paintings that center the rich culture and commerce of fishing within the African American community. Her work celebrates a long legacy of identity and self-determination intimately entangled with coastal fisheries while also conjuring the structural inequities that threaten Black life and livelihoods within the industry.”

The large images are meticulously made, with layers of shape and color that suggest known objects. The gloved fingers of a man are rounded cylindrical strips, the shimmery skin of fish is expressed with spray paint. Abney refers to the long-ignored presence of African Americans in the fishing industry through her inclusion of a figure creating a “selfie” with a fish in the large triptych,  Black People (BP). 

Now on exhibit through March 5, 2023 at the Henry Art Gallery, on the campus of the University Washington in Seattle.

Nina Chanel Abney “Fishing was his life” art exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle
Leilani Norman

Author Leilani Norman

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