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Exhibition Closing Celebration: Swing Low, Sweet Space Chariot; Cosmic Explorations in Clay

Closing Celebration for current Artist in Residence, Fred Dewitt’s exhibition “Swing Low Sweet Chariot; Cosmic Explorations in Clay”

Sonoma Ceramics invites you back to experience the out of this world nature of Fred Dewitt’s work. Enjoy some coffee and dessert while experiencing the work. 
A Collaborative Community Art Making experience will be occurring throughout the exhibition closing celebration. 
If you purchased a piece from Fred’s show, the closing is a perfect time to come and pick it up. 

Swing Low, Sweet Space Chariot; Cosmic Explorations in Clay

Solo Exhibition by Fred Dewitt
The gallery will be open to the public from June 2nd – July 8th
Regular hours are from 9 AM – 8 PM.

Powered by the harmonies of experimental Jazz and Funk music of the 70’s we attempt to create avenues which speculate on future possibilities of humanity. Space, safety, and rebirth are reimagined and explored with ceramic sculptures and functional objects that ask viewers to discard unwanted baggage and to be transported to a new world, an Astro black utopia, free of anti-Blackness, transphobia, hate, and fear.  A world where crops of love are cultivated, and beauty is harvested.

About Fred Dewitt:

Fred Dewitt is an African American interdisciplinary artist with a disability who is researching and exploring ways to deconstruct notions of white supremacy as it is promoted in early American art. His research places materials as a cornerstone of cultural liberation. Clay coffee, cotton, gold, sugar, and ground pigments are just some of the elements he uses as a means of cultural renewal.

His artwork reveals how Black bodies are repositories for trauma – Black bodies are commodities; even Black Joy is commodified. His most recent work tries to depict the
violence enacted on Black bodies without directly showing violence. A seemly endless loop of Black men and women are harassed, disrespected, surveilled, beaten, and killed repeatedly on social media platforms. Black death is a spectacle, a sideshow. DeWitt says, “As an artist do I have a responsibility to address these complexed social issues; more to the point, how can I document the struggles of urban life without adding to the traumatic terror, the horror of this American reality? And what are the materials which mark this space and time. What are the materials associated with Black resistance? How can I tell a different story?” DeWitt’s artwork also asks the viewer to dream of a different reality, a speculative reality, an Afro-surreal reality where blackness unapologetically thrives.

His art practice incorporates painting, sculpture, performance art and social practice. Many of his artworks fuse Asian woodblock printing techniques, with Western oil painting, and eastern ceramic aesthetics with west African sculptural forms. He often gathers wild clay and organic materials from ancestral sites of resistance. He uses ink, oil and natural pigments on paper, wood, silk, and canvas to create hybrid motifs. He is a narrative history painter who explores parallels between 19th century artistic expressions and present-day realities. DeWitt designs sculptures and functional ceramic objects that combine representational clues with camouflage aesthetics of patterns, plant life, symbols of healing and resistance. DeWitt’s artwork reflects the life he has lived. The work is about the fears and trials of being an African American man with a disability. The work is about the challenges of urban life and the beauty of our united human conquest.

June 2, 2023 @ 9:00 am July 8, 2023 @ 8:00 pm

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