Madison College’s Black Women Art Show Honors Longtime Advisor Dzigbodi Akyea
The Black Women’s Affinity Group (BWAG) at Madison College will host their Honoring the Black Woman exhibit at the Truax Art Gallery at 1701 Wright St.
When longtime Madison College Advisor Dzigbodi Akyea passed away last fall, BWAG decided to fulfill one of her dreams and create an exhibition dedicated to honoring Black women artists.
The complimentary opening reception will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, February 1, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The exhibition runs throughout February. Jodie Pope Williams, Community Engagement Coordinator for Madison College and Chair of BWAG, is excited to support art by Black women in the Madison community.
“We affectionately call ourselves BWAG and say: you can bwag about us,” said Pope Williams. “We are an affinity group at Madison College of Black Women and were formed in June 2019. At this point I had worked for Madison College for 11 years. When I had the idea of starting an affinity group, I reached out to colleagues in different departments and said, ‘Hey, let’s start this group, come on in, let’s brainstorm interest-based, what we want to achieve with this and what we do want this group to be’.”
A scholarship was created in honor of Dzigbodi Akyea to support black female students at Madison College. Pope Williams, herself a Madison College graduate, said the event is important because it was created by and centered around Black women and Black artists during Black History Month.
“Today is the first day of Black History Month,” she said. “I would argue that black women have carried this country for a very long time. To be able to sit in a space whose idea was not designed, planned and executed only by black women. It’s something I’m proud to be a part of. I think we have an overwhelming interest in what we do. There is a grant in honor of Dzigbodi that will benefit black female students at Madison College. While this is not a fundraiser, we also hope that people will support with their money and ensure this grant continues to do the work that Dzigbodi has done for over 17 years.”
Event attendees must follow COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety of all visitors. There will also be soul food bites at the exhibition.
“We are adhering to public health guidelines,” Pope Williams said. “There is a mask requirement. And we created a flow to the gallery. There is an entrance, there is an exit. We will use the larger open gate room for reception which is located just off the gallery. We were thrilled to have received approval from our catering department to go out and support a black women caterer. Melly Mell’s Soul Food makes some bites for our event.”
Pope Williams also hopes some of the art in the exhibition will be purchased in support of black women artists. This event is important because it was created by and centered around Black women and Black women artists.
“I think it would also be a huge hit if every piece ended up selling,” Pope Williams said. “So we’re investing and investing our dollars not only for our Black Madison College students, but also for this scholarship and to invest in black arts.”