November 18, 2023


During an interview, Newberry was asked what success would look like and what her primary objectives were  for the exhibition:

“Success for this exhibition will certainly be in the telling of many stories, beginning with history and the indefatigable crusade of Nigerian activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa against environmental genocide ending in his ignoble execution, the fraught life catalyzed by the petroleum tributary that flows between the porous borders of Nigeria and Benin, and the stories ending in the gallery with the contemporary ingenious boldness of Romauld Hazoumè. Also, the exhibition will usher in new perspectives with respect to the African continent and the vast cultural influence of her material culture. 

My hope is that this exhibition will educate, inspirit critical thinking and create a sea-change, lengthening, broadening and globalizing each visitor’s “visual art archive,” making room for new interpretations.

“I Will Spatter the Sky Utterly”: One Romauld Hazoumè will be a glass of cold water, for a parched Five College Consortium. 

Finally,  Kym talked about the importance of the exhibition and what she hopes audiences will learn:

“One only needs to turn on the news to learn we are wrestling with beasts of inhumanity on untold levels.  There are, however, people, standing at the doors of optimism with unstoppable faith, ready to meet the challenges of our dark times, and in the words of Robert F. Kennedy, “tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world.”

This exhibition is important because it connects with the universal themes of the unravelings of history and the righting of historical wrongs. Romauld Hazoumè’s jerry can masks, are narrative sculptures memorializing people, places and moments, and are a voucher for the resiliency of rebuilding.

Through Kawessi, 2013, audiences will learn about and engage in dialogue around a range of topics such as climate change, global capitalism, religions, histories,  environmentalism, environmental genocide, geographic racism, and colonialism. 

There is much for audiences to learn from this exhibition. At a time when our country finds itself walking down the railroad tracks of adversity, Hazoumè’s masks pull us safely across to the other side and make gentle the life of this world…reminding us…teaching us that art and awe are born from struggle.”


Monday, July 31, 2023