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Visitor's Series, Jim McDowell, "African American Face Jugs: Thoughts Become Art Inspired by the Ancestors"

Event Type
School of Art & Design
wifi event
Sep 16, 2021   5:30 pm  
Originating Calendar
A+D Student events

In his artist’s lecture, Jim McDowell will discuss his face jugs.  They represent, in part, the 
lives of enslaved people abducted from Africa, and their descendants who lived through slavery, the 
Civil War, Reconstruction, the Jim Crow South, the Great Migration, the Civil Rights era on into 
today's Black Lives Matter movement.

Jim McDowell has been making face jugs for over thirty-five years, drawing upon his African American 
and Caribbean ancestry.  McDowell’s four-times great aunt Evangeline was an enslaved potter in 
Jamaica who made face jugs. At a family funeral, his grandfather said that enslaved people were 
never given gravestones, so face jugs sometimes served as grave markers. The forms and style of 
McDowell’s face jugs have evolved over the years, taking on the characteristics of things he has 
seen, heard, felt, and is feeling now: “the anger, the injustices, the inequities, the feeling that 
Black lives did not matter. But also, the achievements, inventions, courageous acts of so many, all forms of resistance to the system.”

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