Ellis and Anna Mae Thomas is a portrait of a farm. Through the title, Syd Carpenter celebrates the farmers by name. In this way, she enters into the historical record people who are often ignored or unknown.
For Carpenter, land ownership offers roots, sustenance, and belonging. Her artwork uplifts contemporary African American stewards of the land while encouraging conversations on the history of black farmers in the United States. She investigates how systematic racism and government policies have hurt black farmers, who have lost more than 80 percent of their acreage over the last century.
From the exhibition: Give a damn. (June 30 – September 30, 2018)