At the beginning of this year, I started a special art series entitled The Legacy Project. I was inspired to do this series after visiting an exhibition featuring Barbara Bullock, a mixed media artist based in Philadelphia at Essie Green Galleries in Harlem, New York during the summer of 2012. Barbara featured church fans that were mixed media in nature and featured vintage photographs of African Americans at the turn of the century.
Since both my parents passed, I have been focusing a lot on the idea of family legacy, and that has also expanded to legacies that include friends relatives, historic institutions and organizations that I am affiliated with. I started collecting old family photos and images that resonated with me. I also started to look for old church fans which proved to be quite a journey since many of the antique stores in the Mid-Atlantic part of this country did not have any or very few (I was told that if I visited some shops “down South” I could probably find some).
I thought about purchasing some plan ones but decided to just construct my own. I purchased some wood boards and handles which I glued together. I thought wood would be unique and would hold up better than worn paper church fans (or new ones for that matter), especially when I started to add mixed media, etc. to them.
This is what I was able to accomplish during the first weekend of this year in January:
And the fans stayed that way…all year…untouched….until yesterday. I decided instead of painting them, I would add paper as the backdrop instead. After a few hours, all 10 fans are now nicely updated as shown below:
I used a variety of paper…everything from shopping bags to maps to give each fan a different mood or emotion. The look of each fan will help me determine what photos and what other found objects that I will use to decorate them.
I am excited about how this project will progress!