Blog

Blog

Creativity Arkansas

Department of Arkansas Heritage - Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Creativity Arkansas: The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center’s “Creativity Arkansas” collection began in 2008 and showcases artwork created by African American artists with a connection to Arkansas. The collection, which preserves and documents Arkansas history through visual arts, celebrates the history of the state through works in a variety of media. 

Pictured here is LaToya Hobbs’ “Reconstructing the Mammy Complex 1,” collage and hand-embellished monotype on paper. This work focuses on the role of women during the Civil War and Reconstruction eras, says the artist. Representative of the conflicting duality of black women in their roles as nannies and mothers. The panel on the left represents a white family’s home. The black woman is depicted holding the silhouette of a white child. The woman is fully rendered and her clothes are represented by an elaborate pattern composed of Adinrya Symbols, common to West African culture. This indicates that this is the place where her presence is most vivid. The second panel of each represents the woman in her own home. She is presented as a black silhouette while in her lap she is holding her child, who is fully rendered and is again adorned in a garment made from Adinkrya Symbols. When juxtaposing each side of the diptychs the natural inclination is to pair the black mother with the black child. This scenario has long since fueled the stereotype of the black woman as Mammy, the ever happy care giver always willing and ready to take care of the needs of her "white family" while neglecting the needs of her own. See more of Hobbs’ work. Learn more about the Creativity Arkansas Collection by visiting the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center.