February 2018 Featured Artist: ANGELA HENNESSY

Angela Hennessy, “Black Rainbow”, crocheted synthetic hair, 2017.

Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based interdisciplinary artist who teaches visual and cultural narratives of death and contemporary textile theory. Through writing, studio work, and performance, Hennessy examines mythologies of blackness embedded in linguistic metaphors of color and cloth. Her current project, The School of the Dead, is a program for the decolonization of death and grief through the radical inquiry of aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead. Part of an ongoing theme in Hennessy’s textile-based practice is the importance of claiming space as a black woman, with weight and joyful expansiveness. As feminist scholar Anna Julia Cooper stated, “Only the black woman can say when and where I enter, in the quiet, undisputed dignity of my womanhood, without violence and without suing or special patronage, then and there the whole Negro race enters with me.” Hennessy has exhibited at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Exit Art, Ampersand International Arts, Pro Arts Gallery, Southern Exposure, The Richmond Art Center, The Small Gallery, and The Oakland Museum of California. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and was featured in the Journal of Cloth and Culture and In The Make: Studio Visits with Artists.