APPLE VALLEY – A 1910 newspaper ad specifically recruiting “colored” homesteaders is the inspiration for artist Barbara Gothard’s “Contradictions – Bringing the Past Forward” now on display at the Victor Valley Museum through August 22. The art exhibit chronicles 23 Black families that became western settlers in far eastern San Bernardino County during the early 20th century.
The exhibit explores themes of hope, disillusionment, and strong family bonds based on archival research and interviews.
“As I’ve made presentations during the last year about my artworks interpreting the stories of these African American Homesteaders and developed the artworks during my residency at BOXOProjects, it became increasingly clear that their stories needed to be brought forward,” said Gothard. “I’m excited that the museum is sharing their experiences and stories through my creative journey.
The BOXOProjects is a multi-program arts initiative based in Joshua Tree dedicated to exploring contemporary art at the new frontier. During Gothard’s residency, she created twenty-three digital paintings and printed them on raw linen canvas. Each artwork interprets a story of one of the Black homesteaders and contrasts their plight in the context of her own lived experience as an Black American female artist living in the desert.
The project is made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of National Endowment for the Humanities and is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.
Black Homesteaders Exhibit
Contradictions – Bringing the Past Forward
Victor Valley Museum
Address: 11873 Apple Valley Road, Apple Valley
Hours: Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: $5 (adult), $4 (military or senior), and $2.50 (students and child ages 5 to 12). Children under 5 are free.
For more information about Contradictions – Bringing the Past Forward visit https://mojavecontradictions.com/