Threads Through Time-Delita Martin

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The Looking Jars, 2014
Relief printing, conte, stitching
On loan from Kyle Boswell and Jon Mourot, Little Rock


Delita Martin is a printmaker in Huffman, Texas. She earned a BFA in drawing from Texas Southern University, and a MFA in printmaking from Purdue University. For several years, she served on the faculty of the Department of Art at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. One of her early art experiences was quilting with her grandmother.

Martin creates bold, vibrant prints of African-American women. These women represent everyday working class African-American women; some of them are actual family. Their faces and bodies rendered in black are juxtaposed with graphic patterns and colors that swirl around them, connecting them through some type of threaded bloodline. Martin brings these women to life by adding patterned papers, fabrics, and hand stitching.

In The Looking Jars, Martin presents the portrait of a woman in a state of reflection. Around her swirl flowers in muted blues and pinks, a departure from Martin’s usual saturated colors. These flowers pass over the face like a memory, leaving color behind where they touch. Below her, three Mason jars line the print, the contents unknown to the viewer. The portrait and these glass containers are linked together by red stitching, connecting the woman, her memories and the jars

For more on Delita Martin, visit her website at: