With urgency, and without apology, JoAnne McFarland's multimedia collection PULLMAN underscores the relationships between the events of our American past and of our present.
JoAnne McFarland’s PULLMAN examines themes of labor and love, using as its backdrop the history of the treatment of the Pullman car porters of the late 19th century. The poems and art pieces in this collection both reflect on and interact with cultural and historical sources, from the slave narratives of Harriet Jacobs to the creative output of the poet and artist’s late father, a musician and songwriter for Aretha Franklin. With urgency, and without apology, Pullman underscores the relationships between the events of our American past and of our present.
"Every poem I write is a lullaby. / Once upon a time there were men who helped other / men reach their destinations. / They carried their coats and cases, served them their / meals and liquor, then tucked them up in their beds. / This poem prepares you to let your guard down, / that's its job. / It treats you like a child. // They treated them like children."
Poetry. Art. African & African American Studies.
JoAnne McFarland is an artist, poet, and curator and the Artistic Director of Artpoetica Project Space in Gowanus, Brooklyn, which exhibits experimental and hybrid works that focus on the intersection of language and visual representation. JoAnne is the former Exhibitions Director of A.I.R. Gallery which was founded in 1972 as the first gallery in the United States specifically for women artists. She has artwork in the permanent collections of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, the Columbus Museum of Art, and the Department of State, among many others. JoAnne's poetry collections include: Pullman, Tracks of My Tears, Identifying the Body, 13 Ways of Looking at a Black Girl, and Acid Rain. JoAnne has had fellowships at the Painting Center, the Bard Graduate Center Library, KALA Art Institute, the National Arts Club, the Van Alen Institute, and Cave Canem. Her recent exhibitions include Affiliation at the National Arts Club, Queen For a Day at the Bard Graduate Center Library, Rights & Wrongs at the Carroll Mansion in Baltimore, MD, and Best & Brightest and The Indivisible Spectrum, both at the Painting Center in NYC. JoAnne's artwork is represented by Accola Griefen Fine Art.