About This Project

A collage canvas of a black woman sitting at a piano wearing a pale beige dress with lilac colored flowers along the labels. She has decorations in her up done hair. The piece is called Mary Lou

Mary Lou

24” x 36”
Paper Collage on Stretched Canvas
Banner 48” x 72”

This piece tells several stories;

Mary Lou Williams who was an extraordinary and influential jazz pianist who was mostly completely forgotten for many years, and went uncredited when musicians played her original music. She is remembered here.

Caroline, born a slave in Missouri in 1842, who runs to freedom, by foot, horse and carriage, steamboat and the underground railroad. She eventually arrives in Canada– a free woman– where she finds an education, work, a loving marriage and children.
The writer Lorraine Hansberry, the playwright who wrote A Raisin in the Sun, she lived a short but brilliant life, protesting wrongs with her powerful words.

A modern black woman luxuriating in a candlelit tub, rubbing scented oils into her hair and skin, luxuriating in her own beauty and voluptuous body. She dresses for a night out with her man. “the man who recognizes and appreciates the beauty that is me.”

Commission for Theater for New Works