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28 | Local Lens: Jamal Cyrus on “Tree of Life” at HCCC






Houston Center for Contemporary Craft | 4848 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Local Lens: Jamal Cyrus on “Tree of Life” DETAILS

From the organizer:

Join HCCC’s Windgate Curatorial Fellow Cydney Pickens and Houston-based artist Jamal Cyrus for an intimate conversation on Tree of Life. This exhibition showcases sculptural objects made from the African blackwood tree, which has a naturally dark, nearly black, colored core, and other unique properties that make it a preferred material choice for ornamental turning and carving, and for use in woodwind instruments. From his perspective as an artist, community member, and African blackwood collector, Cyrus will respond to the exhibition and discuss the role museums play as a source of education and inspiration for artists. This program explores contemporary curatorial practice, while centering perspectives from the community as vital voices in HCCC’s programming.

About Jamal Cyrus Jamal Cyrus’ (b. 1973, Houston, TX) expansive practice draws on the languages of collage and assemblage, and explores the evolution of African American identity within Black political movements and the African diaspora. He is engaged with an aesthetic practice that aims to transform the most mundane materials into objects with rich, densely packed networks of meaning and purpose.

Cyrus received his BFA from the University of Houston in 2004, and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008. He has won several prestigious awards, including most recently a Guggenheim Fellowship (2023). Cyrus was awarded the Driskell Prize, (High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA) in 2020. The artist’s mid-career survey, The End of My Beginning, opened at the Blaffer Museum of Art in 2021 before continuing on to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the Mississippi Museum of Art. Cyrus was also a member of the artist collective Otabenga Jones and Associates, active from 2002 to 2017.

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