Artist Statement

BACK THEN
The inspiration for my exhibit Back Then is Oberlin Village (Raleigh, NC). Oberlin Village was a Freedmen’s Bureau community founded after the Civil War by formerly enslaved Blacks, including some of my ancestors. My paintings are based on family photographs from the early 20th century that capture the spirit of the African American community that flourished there. It is a testimony to the African American resourcefulness and resilience that despite Jim Crow and many other indignities they thrived. The pieces featured are part of a series of paintings, some done on the background of documents—a writing by my grandfather who fondly recalled growing up in Oberlin Village, or a page from a precedent setting property case that my great great grandmother won. There are many lessons of fortitude and renewal that we can all learn from this uniquely American story.

Exhibitions

Susan Mask | Connectivity

December 7-30, 2023

Susan Mask | Reflections

October 7 - October 30, 2021

Susan Mask | Great Migration

June 3 - June 26, 2021

So This Is Oberlin

Susan Mask at Shift through April 27, 2019 Peggy Murphy Susan Mask exhibits a collection