Brooklyn-based artist Abigail DeVille creates immersive multimedia installations that focus on storytelling and reviving forgotten narratives and encourage us to rethink the past, present, and future—especially the experiences of Black Americans. Her presentation at Quincy Garden is inspired by Langston Hughes, who resided in the Fairfax neighborhood as a teen. During a series of visits to the city, DeVille conducted extensive research into the material and cultural histories of the region, unearthing stories and re-weaving frayed narratives. Guided by the question, “Who are the dream keepers in Cleveland?” she explored Cleveland history from Indigenous times to the present, Native American tools, fossils, and local storytellers that have preserved factions of Cleveland culture and history.
Her outdoor installation is a gathering of semi-figurative and abstract sculptures that references the tradition of African American yard art. Each figure carries the cast face of a member of the community, the storytellers helping to preserve the narrative of Cleveland.
As part of FRONT 2022, DeVille also presents a major new exhibition at The Sculpture Center.
Commissioned by FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art, with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Joanne Cohen and Morris Wheeler, Fleischner Family Charitable Foundation, and Arts Midwest and in partnership with The Sculpture Center, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, and Karamu House