I Sit and Sew: Tracing Alice Dunbar-Nelson
For this Delaware Art Museum commission, Charles Edward Williams will commemorate the life of Alice Dunbar-Nelson (1875–1935), the poet and political activist who spent most of her career writing and lecturing in Wilmington. Williams will create a body of work responding to Dunbar-Nelson’s story, to be installed in Picturing America, the Museum’s newly renovated early American art galleries. Alongside historical portraits, Williams’ exhibition will honor the life of this important literary figure.
From the early 1900s to 1920, Dunbar-Nelson taught at Wilmington’s Howard High School. This project will align with the research of David Kim, a Whiting Foundation fellow and English professor at the University of Delaware, where the Alice Dunbar-Nelson Papers reside. Kim’s community engagement project, Alice Dunbar-Nelson: A Vision for Wilmington, celebrates Dunbar-Nelson’s contributions to the city’s history.
Artist Charles Edwards Williams’ recent projects draw on historical photography of the Civil Rights Movement. Pairing vibrant colors with distinct portraits, Williams establishes an emotional connection between the image and the viewer.