Trading Post: Exchange and Sojourn
Curated by Chotsani Elaine Dean
Opening reception: Thursday, March 28, 5 – 9 pm
What is a trading post? As defined in the Cambridge English dictionary, a trading post is "a small place, especially in the past, far from other places in which people live, where goods can be bought and sold or exchanged." However, the idea of a trading post is not limited to the aforementioned definition. In Hartford, Connecticut, the Dutch established a trading post in early 17th century America. Colonial America had various kinds of trading posts, some well documented that remain today, and others that were temporal, vaguely remembered, or sadly forgotten.
The many Dutch trading posts and the Dutch participation in the transatlantic slave trade and the abolitionist movement are significant to the communal ancestry of the curator, Dean, who is African-American, raised in New England, and now residing in the South. Her reality has provoked many divergent feelings, experiences, and inquires. This NCECA concurrent exhibition reflects Dean’s desire to establish a trading post with artists who are important in her life. In this show, five artists share their history and studio practice through written correspondence, resulting in a visual experience that shares insights from their discussion of value, preservation of experience, and response to the material. Participants include Monica Bock, Undine Brod, Chotsani Elaine Dean, Jill Foote-Hutton, and Dawn Holder.