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Group Exhibition: Thread @ The College of New Jersey Art Gallery

Thread curated by Margaret Pezalla-Granlund

Jim Denomie, Maria Dumloa, and Jessica Wimbley

With essay by Ernest Bryant III

TCNJ Art Gallery, The College of New Jersey

November 3 - December 9, 2021

Thread features the work of three artists working in disparate media, each drawing from

particular moments in American history and, through their work, making evident threads of

historical narratives that are obscured or erased from recorded histories. The artists all look to

the late-19th-century and episodes in American history that, 100 years past, still resonate today

in ways not acknowledged in history textbooks or mainstream accounts. In the work of these

artists, the threads of history are multiple and persistent: they contest and resist erasure, and

sustain a dialogue between the past/s, the present, and the future.


In her series Benevolent Assimilation: scenes that do not represent who we are, 2021

Philadelphia-based artist Maria Dumlao looks to archival photographs, vintage advertising, and

news clippings to examine the intersecting histories of the Philippines under US military

occupation, the development of surveillance and policing technologies, and American

consumerism between the 1890s-1920s. Her work demands the participation of the viewer to

activate the images: viewers use a series of colored lenses to view the images, each of which

reveals (or conceals) details of the scene, and, in turn, the particular historical narrative. Some

of these details tell the histories preserved in official archival accounts; others reveal the

persistent narrative threads left out of, or erased from, these official stories.

In her photo-based collages, California artist Jessica Wimbley visually and conceptually

connects late-19th-century cabinet card images of African American subjects with 1970s fashion

and editorial photographs from Jet magazine, and the artist’s own family images. As she

reworks the surfaces of these images, she visually binds these disparate -- and often hidden --

representations across time, place, and media.


The saturated colors and surrealist sometimes humorous figuration of Jim Denomie’s paintings

bring a darkly humorous and deeply felt approach to historical narratives. The paintings in the

in-progress series They Sing Their Death Song depict the Mankato 38 + 2, 38 Dakota men who

were hanged in Mankato, Minnesota on December 26, 1862. Writing about Denomie’s

paintings, Robert Cozzolino states, “They are powerful history paintings of our time, made with

the knowledge that past and present speak to one another, talk back, argue, and ultimately

strive for a future.”


Zoom Artist Talk: Jessica Wimbley | Wednesday November 17, 2021, 3:00-4:00pm EST

Wimbley received her BFA in Painting from Rhode Island School of Design, M.F.A in Visual Arts from the University of California, Davis, and her MA in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University. She has been included in dozens of group shows across the country and has received critical reviews in Hyperallergic, Art and Cake, LA Weekly, Huffington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. Free, but advance registration required: https://bit.ly/3AXnGdS


Related Events: Artist’s Talk: Maria Dumlao | Wednesday, November 3, 2021 7:00 pm EST

Via Zoom. Free, but advance registration required: https://bit.ly/3pKvIEP

For more information visit The College of New Jersey Art Gallery, The College of New Jersey

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