If you heard an original melody, could you write its lyrics?

If you heard only the opening paragraph of a story, could you tell the rest of it?

If you read an anonymous poem, could you create a visual piece of artwork that interprets its meaning?

If you only saw a sculpture, could you imagine its backstory?

Ain't No Limits Exhibit Spady

To take in someone else’s artistic vision and add your own piece to it, without ever meeting that person or knowing anything about them, seems like an intimidating exercise. But a group of selected female artists of color were challenged with that very exercise and through the experiment created the newest exhibition at the Spady Cultural Heritage Museum.

The name of the exhibit, “Ain’t No Limits,” was inspired from a poet’s phrase that spoke about the limitations placed upon women and their ability to fully express themselves in a male-centric and male-centered society. Instead, the organizers of the exhibit – a collective called Rubber Bands – asked the artists and the poets to stretch beyond the typical and expected.

Four poets were asked to create works that moved them outside of their comfort zones. Then, their works were anonymously submitted to four visual artists, who interpreted the words, feelings and meanings through their preferred medium. The poets were also asked to interpret into words pieces of artwork created in various mediums. Both the poems and their corresponding visual companions are displayed interconnectedly in the museum’s main gallery space.

Visitors are encouraged to use the “Ain’t No Limits” guidebook to follow the narratives and their sister interpretations to fully understand the artists’ intentions. What follows is an intimate peek into how the artists view their worlds and their places within it – what inspires them, what frightens them and what soothes them – as Black women and women of color.

“We wanted each artist to expand her thinking, not only about each other, but also about their work,” said Khaulah Naima Nuruddin, Nuruddin also serves as the curatorial consultant for the Spady Museum. 

Along with Nuruddin, Tayina Deravile and Sheree L. Greer are the founding members of Rubber Bands. Each artist has assisted with the curation of three recent exhibits at the Spady Museum. “Thresholds” featured African artifacts used to mark the thresholds that people crossed into the different stages of life; “Thresholds’ was co-curated by Joanne Hamsptead and Nuruddin, and was display from August 25 to December 26, 2023.

View photo galleryhttps://masterwingcreativeagency.pixieset.com/spadymuseum/


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