Exhibition: Visual Elegy: Prints inspired by bell hooks' Appalachian Elegy
Print and Picture Collection at Parkway Central Library
The Literature Department and Print and Picture Collection invite you to visit a special collaborative exhibition on view in the Art and Literature Hallways on the 2nd floor of Parkway Central Library.
The prints in this exhibit come from Visual Elegy, a 2016 collaborative portfolio organized by Nicole Hand and Carrie Jerrell at Murray State University in Kentucky. The portfolio is inspired by the 2012 poetry collection Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place and its author: acclaimed social activist, feminist theorist, artist, and native Kentuckian bell hooks (1952-2021). The printmakers who have contributed to this project offer a variety of beautiful and compelling interpretations of hooks’ work; they are artists who believe, as hooks writes, that “the function of art is to do more than tell it like it is – it’s to imagine what is possible.”
The poems in Appalachian Elegy are inspired by hooks’ childhood in the isolated hills and hidden hollows of Kentucky. The artists were asked to make a print that was inspired by a single poem or the book as a whole, combining this inspiration with their own unique mark and voice as an artist and feminist. Contributing artist Rochelle Toner donated the portfolio to the Free Library of Philadelphia’s Print and Picture Collection in 2022.
Prints and poems selected by staff of the Literature Department and Print and Picture Collection.
Image credit: belle, Intaglio, inkject and handcolor print by Jean Dibble, 2016.
Print and Picture Collection
Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street (between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Philadelphia, PA 19103
1-833-TALK FLP (825-5357)