CLOSEUP, Mildred Howard, Abode: Sanctuary for the Familia(r)/From Cotton to Coal...The Last Train, inSITE94.

Artist Mildred Howard (San Francisco, 1945) was commissioned for inSITE94. Her installation consisted of two components, 'Abode: Sanctuary for the Familia(r)' and 'From Cotton to Coal ... the Last Train'.
Curator: Lynda Forsha

“Mildred Howard’s ‘Abode: Sanctuary for the Familia(r)’ inscribed an archetypal house in the recesses of the Santa Fe Depot. Here in this back-room domain dominated by African-American labor in the halcyon days of the railroad, the ideal proportion and profile of the diminutive structure worked in counterpoint to the particularities of construction. The eccentrically assembled wooden framing recalled the patched-together fabric of plantation slave quarters; the blue bottle walls summoned up the bottle trees and fences created to deter unwelcome spirits in the black South. Abode was paired with a second work, ‘From Cotton to Coal ... The Last Train’, in an adjacent space, its verdant walls patinaed by time. In the sanguine theatrical light, a luggage wagon loaded with raw cotton stood on an expanse of a fractured coal. In her use of materials Howard quietly, insistently traced a journey from the cotton fields of the antebellum South to the coal fields and railroad yards of the robber North”. –Sally Yard, Tagged Turf in the Public Sphere, inSITE94 catalog,
p. 46, 48.

Duration: 5 min.

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