Epitaph For A Darling Lady
to Jan 8

Epitaph For A Darling Lady

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The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is pleased to present Stacy Waddell: Epitaph For A Darling Lady. The exhibition opens with a reception for the artist on Friday, November 13, 2015 from 5:00 - 7:00pm and will be on view in the True F. Luck Gallery through January 8, 2016. The artist will deliver a gallery talk for the public on Thursday, December 3 at 7:00pm.

Epitaph For A Darling Lady presents a large-scale installation of mixed media works created in homage to famed Hollywood actress Butterfly McQueen. Waddell states that the works in the exhibition “spin a well-worn cautionary tale with a surprising and beautiful ending.” Lowery Stokes Simms, recently retired Chief Curator of the Museum of Arts and Design, NYC, is writing the catalog essay to accompany the exhibition. An original video documenting Waddell’s studio processes will also accompany the exhibition.

Waddell made repeated trips to Richmond over the past four months to complete an experimental residency with Jason Lefton at Big Secret (Richmond, VA). During that time, the central work was produced for the exhibition that reimagines A Midnight Race On The Mississippi by 19th century American lithographers Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives. The residency provided Waddell with time to learn about and experiment with laser technology as a compliment to her previous studio practice that employed a wide-range of heat-based tools and kitchen sink alchemical processes. 

Regarding the subject of her exhibition, Waddell states, “Sometime back, I discovered a wardrobe still from the set of Gone With The Wind that depicts co-stars Butterfly McQueen and Hattie McDaniel. At first glance, this image doesn’t differ much from others of its type, but something about it struck me in a personal regard. In the photograph, Butterfly McQueen stands to the left of her more experienced co-star who dominates the image for several reasons, not the least of which being her unflinchingly direct gaze at the viewer. McQueen’s stance, however, presents an altogether different point of view of a young woman looking beyond her present station to contemplate what’s ahead. Butterfly McQueen was an iconoclast, but a reluctant one. Despite the prevailing cultural and social force field that dictated much of her lived experience, she persisted in reimagining a life of nuance and free-range possibilities, but the quest for freedom often comes at a cost.”

Since 2007, Stacy Lynn Waddell’s work has been recognized and exhibited nationally. Waddell has participated in exhibitions at The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in Durham, NC, the Weatherspoon Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Greensboro, NC, The North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA, Project Row Houses in Houston, TX, The Studio Museum in Harlem in NY, On Stellar Rays in NY and at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, MA among other venues. Her work is included in several public and private collections that include The Nasher Museum of Art (Durham, NC), the Weatherspoon Art Museum (Greensboro, NC), The North Carolina Museum of Art (Raleigh, NC), The Gibbes Museum of Art (Charleston, SC) and The Studio Museum in Harlem (New York). Waddell is a 2010 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant and a 2012 recipient of an Art Matters Grant. She currently resides in Chapel Hill, NC.


Exhibitions at the Visual Arts Center are supported by a grant from Altria Group, Inc.

Gallery Hours are M-F: 9am-9pm, Sat: 10am - 4:00pm, Sun.1pm-4pm


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