Arts and Entertainment

'Collective Conjure: The Shape of Memory' art exhibit explores African Diaspora

"Sugar House," by Courtney Desiree Morris. Credit: Courtney Desiree MorrisAll Rights Reserved.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — "Collective Conjure: The Shape of Memory" is an experimental group bringing together four artists from the Penn State community whose work explores ideas surrounding the sacred, the profane, ritual and spirituality in the African Diaspora. The exhibit is now on view through Dec. 7 in the Borland Project Space in 125 Borland.

The group uses art to examine ways black women across the Black Atlantic engage in acts of conjuring as both a social and sacred practice. The work explores the making of memory and forging cherished spaces that are embedded in the everyday workings of black social life. This exhibition considers the various methodologies used by artists to examine the production of shared social memory and to cultivate new modes of representing diasporic cultural practices.

The exhibition will contain four unique and yet interconnected displays: a short film, photo-based weavings, paintings, and photographs. Each work relates to the central theme of spirituality in black women. 

During the exhibition, the artists will host an opening reception and salon conversation as well as an artmaking workshop. Both the workshop and reception are free open to the public, and appropriate for all ages. No art-making experience is required.

Public programming includes:

Opening Reception and Salon Conversation

Tuesday, Nov. 13 — 4-6 p.m., with conversation to follow

The opening reception and discussion will explore artistic processes and the ways in which black women take charge of their stories, telling them from their own perspectives.

"Collective Conjure" artmaking workshop

Tuesday, Nov, 27 — 1-2 p.m.

The workshop will guide visitors in the creation of their own artistic responses to the subject matter. The artwork visitors create will remain on view through the end of the exhibition.

About the Borland Project Space

The Borland Project Space seeks to showcase vivacious research culture of Penn State's College of Arts and Architecture. With this notion we move beyond traditional exhibitions, performances and scholarly programming to expose the processes and procedures of “arts research,” which viewers seldom see. Home to several residences and projects throughout the academic year, the space is open for visitors from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, throughout the academic year. For additional information on current and upcoming events, please visit our website,

Last Updated November 13, 2018