By Daisha Williams
The Black Woman is God (TBWIG) kicked off its annual art exhibit with a reception in downtown San Francisco on June 29.
The event included food, music, and community, plus plenty of space to view the artwork on display. This year’s theme is motherhood and the pieces explore how black mothers show up, as well as those who don’t, but honor it all.
In keeping with the theme, mothers were encouraged to bring their children to the event, emphasizing that this space was open to everyone. One of the artists, Marissa Atterberry, said, “It was amazing to create with motherhood in mind and to create something that includes me as a whole person and includes my children, and then to enter in a space that includes children. But for Karen Seneferu (the founder) to say “bring the kids, honor the kids” was really good.
Seneferu, the founder of TBWIG, had also ensured that the event was spiritual in nature, with attendees performing a ritual and declaring their intentions upon entering, and opening with a prayer and blessing, creating a positive energy that lasted all evening.
TBWIG celebrates black women and their art through this annual exhibition. The intention of these events is to show that they go beyond conflicting ideologies and reclaim the legacy of black women artists.
Black women have contributed so much to society, yet they are often not celebrated openly. This is why events like this, viewing them as works of art and artists, celebrating their beauty, grace and influence, are so important.
The venue at 231 Grant St. was smaller than in previous years — this is the event’s second year since the pandemic — which made the environment comfortable and welcoming, like a family atmosphere.
This does not mean that there was not a good turnout, since the room filled up less than an hour after opening. Zoe Jung talked about the strong sense of community he felt as a participant. “There was a sense of camaraderie between the musicians and artists and even between passers-by. »
Seneferu is herself an artist. She says she hopes she can transform Black women’s sense of space by creating a space that belongs to them.
She intentionally features artists of varying levels of experience in the exhibit to show the historical legacy of black female artists. “I felt deeply honored and humbled, and I have a lot of family photos on the altar that I created, and I just loved seeing people come up and see my family and hopefully , see some of their own family in my family.”
The reception was a bustling space. From the opening, people mingled while taking the time and space to appreciate the art.
Art, people and music together made for a great experience.
Harpist Destiny Muhammad and violinist Tarika Lewis performed as a duo, drawing attention and spotlight away from the walls.