Arkansas displays work from honors art major

University of Arkansas Honors College fellow and art major Natalie Brown. | Contributed photo

University of Arkansas Honors College fellow and art major Natalie Brown recently opened a new display of her latest work, inspired by her Southern heritage, in the Honors College wing in Gearhart Hall.

"My family has a long heritage in the South," Brown said. "My third great-grandfather surveyed the border of Arkansas – and his payment was land and slaves. On the outside, I don't want it, I don't want to claim it, but inside I missed it. There's a crazy ambivalence."

Brown’s collection stems from her homesickness while participating in the painting program at the Yale School of Art at Norfolk in summer 2015. The works are an exploration of the conflicting emotions and legacy that come from her identity as a Southern woman.

"These old objects, most of which are decorative or tied to hospitality, also reflect the only creative opportunity that women in my family were allowed to engage in," Brown wrote in her artist’s statement. "If I indulge in the decorative it's because that is what I have been taught to do with my eye for my entire life. Now to reject the objects and aesthetic sensibilities I've inherited on the grounds of race or class would mean rejecting the traditions and values of the women in my family, the people who matter the most to me."

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