ArtYard is pleased to present Three Mothers, Jesse Wright’s monumental Portraits of Mamie Till-Mobley, Larcenia “Cissy” Floyd, and Eileen Wright. Beginning September 12, the original works will be on view in the ArtYard Project Gallery at 62A Trenton Avenue and the banner installation will be on view on the Kerr Street wall of ArtYard’s new building at 13 Front St. 

Three Mothers features a triptych of portraits of mothers with their infant sons: Larcenia “Cissy” Floyd and George, Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett, and the artist’s mother Eileen Wright and himself.

“With Three Mothers, there was a desire to highlight each mother while maintaining the presence of their sons. The sons are painted in “silhouette” or “outline”, each overlaying a background related to their narrative. I’m grateful for an opportunity to speak into this moment through this collaboration with ArtYard. I hope to set right and reverse, in some way, the energy at play in the countless defaced Floyd murals while also disarming hostile conversation by leaning into compassion and encouraging empathy through recognizing George Floyd’s call for his mother.” – Jesse Wright

Viewers are invited and encouraged to engage with the art through writing letters to these mothers in providing a cathartic release or a reflective act of compassion. Pictures of the contributor’s mothers are welcome as well. Letters can be written and offered in the ArtYard Project Gallery.

JESSE WRIGHT BIO:

At a time when individuals are divided by physical boundaries and sociopolitical issues, interdisciplinary artist and educator Jesse Wright’s work seeks to champion making connections and promoting empathy through considering one another’s stories.

Wright draws upon his background in painting and commercial design to explore spiritual connections underlying daily experience through his mixed media paintings (often involving reclaimed materials from the streets), printmaking, and video. His blended visual styles also reference his blended Jamaican American heritage. Wright’s work is an exploration and communication of narratives inspired by humanitarian work at underserved and disenfranchised communities – orphanages, medical centers, schools, and displacement camps – in Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Uganda, and the United States while simultaneously developing an ongoing series frequently referencing scripture. The “NO RULE MULTIPLY ALPHA – Jamaica Faith” series reconnects the artist to his mother’s homeland through the depiction of locals and family members as vessels for biblical allegory and commentary on their life throughout the diaspora in it’s complex beauty and tension. 

Wright currently teaches at the Goldman Sachs Student Art Program in Jersey City and Eastern Christian High School in Haledon, New Jersey. He received his Bachelor of Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. His work has been presented in galleries, universities, and museums throughout the tri-state area.

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