The cows, seeds, dirt roads, and sheds -- intertwined and rendered in graphite and clay -- triggered memories of their
"We used to grow tobacco, cotton, sweet potatoes -- everything," said Dumas, 73, of
Dumas and her sister, visiting
Carpenter led a tour of her work Saturday as part of an exhibition at the museum spotlighting African American farmers, food traditions and the relationship of African Americans to the land.
The exhibit includes the photographs by former Newsweek photographer
The exhibit will close
Carpenter, a professor at
Through her sculpture, the
Carpenter's interest was sparked seven years ago when she learned that her grandmother was a renowned gardener in her hometown of
That discovery helped illuminate Carpenter's intense commitment to transforming her garden into a flowering sanctuary. It was an attribute that ran in the family.
Since then, Carpenter has researched the history of blacks in farming and gardening, a process that began to infuse her art. In 2012, she traveled to interview farmers throughout the South. She created sculptures that reflected their lives and named the artworks after them.
On Saturday, Carpenter told the group of 30 who listened as she explained the story behind each work, that she planned to continue the effort in the years to come.
"This has changed my life . . . ," Carpenter said. "It acknowledges something I feel strongly about and translates it into objects that mean something."
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