The Moody Jones Gallery, a boutique art gallery located at 107b S Easton Rd, Glenside, is currently featuring Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol’s abstract artworks in an exhibit titled “Alkebulan Pulp Stories.”
The show will run until March 18. Visitors are welcomed to visit the gallery and see Vaughn-Nichol’s works during the following hours:
Monday – Closed
Tuesday – by appointment only
Wednesday – 12pm to 5pm
Thursday – 12pm to 5pm
Friday – 12pm to 7pm
Saturday – 12pm to 5pm
Sunday – by appointment only
Examples of her works include:
For more on Moody Jones Gallery, you can visit their Facebook page and website.
About the Artist
Vaughn-Nichol is a storyteller and lifelong student of African American traditions. She inherited one of those traditions from her grandmother, who repurposed vintage textiles and found objects into beautiful crafts. Her grandmother embedded character into items most of us throw away – from old clothing down to the threads that held them together. “Nothing in our house was ever wasted,” says Vaughn-Nichol, “and there is something grounding for me to give things with history new life in my art.” at the gallery,
Alkebulan – which means “mother of mankind – is the ancient name for Africa. This exhibit continues Vaughn-Nichol’s 2022 show “Collective Memory” at the Mayo Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. That show focused on the remnants that connect all of humanity and that descended from a common female ancestor in Africa through our mothers’ mitochondrial DNA. Vaughn-Nichol integrates her African ancestry into her works, which incorporate hand-made paper into mixed-media collages and paintings.
She began her career as an illustrator and graphic designer in the 1970s. Working in display designing, she developed a love for paper as a medium. She began creating papier-mâché sculptures and assemblages.
“I believe my art has a lyrical and spiritual quality,” she said. “That pleases me because I live a spiritually centered life. My abstracted narratives are intentionally vague. Since the things that touch and feed our souls are not always tangible, I want the viewer to have space to find meaning with or without the guidance of my intentions and symbolism, though I feel deeply connected to the complexities of my American Afrocentric roots and generally incorporate Africana iconography and textiles into my works.”
“What I hope the viewer takes away will be deeply personal, and, on some level, healing,” she said.
Vaughn-Nichol was born in Indiana into a multi-generational family of artisans and crafts people. She studied drawing and painting at the Herron School of Art and Design at IUPUI (Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis). She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from California State University in Long Beach, and Master of Divinity and Master of Education degrees from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK.
She has traveled to the coast of South Carolina to immerse herself in the culture of the Gullah people. In the1990s, she visited West Africa to absorb its cultural vibes. Her experiences in Black communities deepened the familiarity she felt with them – what she calls the “strands of spirit and culture” that are woven into them.
“I want others to see the beauty I see in how Black people left one culture and came into another culture, as fragmented as it was,” she said. “With all its adversity and challenges, we managed to create a new vibrant thriving culture that is now, in part, embraced all over the world. Remnants of African diaspora are irrepressible.”
Last year, Vaughn-Nichol presented her works in a solo show at Morris Arts in New Jersey. The curator described why she selected Vaughn-Nichol: “A veritable ‘rock star’ on the Black art scene, Rosalind offers lyrical, poetic and delicate works featuring handmade papers, antique textiles, and even embedded biblical texts,” noted Dr. Lynn Siebert, director of galleries at Morris Arts. “Her highly personal pieces touch viewers at their core and demonstrate a deep spiritual foundation that reflects her many years working as a hospice chaplain.”
For more on Vaughn-Nichol, you can visit her Facebook page.