The Reclamation Project: an art share


3 center photos: Maya Ellick @artism.e

It seemed like every artist was trying to get it all in in the last full month of summer as August was brimming with amazing art showings. I lost count of how many I attended and I didn’t even catch every one on my radar!

I capped off the month last weekend with The Reclamation Project‘s closing art show and panel.

The Reclamation Project is a visual celebration of Black women’s beauty, spirituality, sensuality and sexuality. 

So often in media—from reality tv to music and pornography (and our regular lives)— we are over sexualized; we’re known to twerk sum’n, bend it over, touch our toes and bust it open on a handstand. There is certainly a spot for that on our wide spectrum of gifts, BUT I don’t think those behaviors should be our main representative. It’s dangerous to assume that because we’re Black or shaped a certain way, we’ll do any and every thing when it comes to dating, intimacy and sex; it’s dangerous for women to oblige when they’re unsure or uncomfortable doing so and it’s dangerous for their partners to make assumptions. And again, that’s not to shame those that are down for whatever whenever, but to note that it’s unhealthy to lump us.

Instead, The Reclamation Project honors our innate softness and beauty. It’s just that: a reclamation of our gentle side. An intimate look into who we are when we feel safe, respected and loved enough to be vulnerable. None of these women—drawn, painted or photographed—displayed pain, anger or resilience, our common autofillers. Not only are our bodies hyper sexualized from childhood, but too often we share a common thread of being abused or overcoming some type of trauma. Though they are necessary stories to be told, it was so refreshing to see the opposite.

We are such beautiful, graceful, peaceful beings. I appreciate The Reclamation Project’s founder, PLAYERS magazine and each of the artists, panelists and attendees for seeing us in our rightful manner: as sexual beings, not sexual objects.





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