All Exhibitions

A Quiet Reach - Opening Reception

3S Artspace & Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire Present:

A QUIET REACH
NOVEMBER 19 - JANUARY 2
works by Daniel Minter

  • Opening reception: Friday, November 19 / 5-8pm
  • Free and open to the public
  • Masks are required by all guests in the 3S Lobby, Gallery, and restrooms regardless of vaccination status.
  • Additional reception during Art 'Round Town* on Friday, December 3 / 5-8pm


Artist Statement:
Like the soft ripples on the still morning shore, Malaga touches us all. My work regarding the story of Malaga Island has been a process of learning and telling, telling and showing, showing and feeling.

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An excerpt from Revelations: Bitter History, Enduring Spirit in the Art of Daniel Minter by Henry John Drewal:
The story of the Malaga Island community is but one local episode revealing the depth and pervasiveness of abiding racism in this country, whether south or north, east or west, past or present. The racism that destroyed the lives of those families on Malaga Island occurred during the rise of the pseudo-science of eugenics, the false belief that genes (and head size and shape measured with calipers) determined a person’s intelligence or attributes, and that immoral or criminal behavior was hereditary. Such thinking shaped the post-Civil war period misnamed “Reconstruction” which in reality was one of grave danger and destruction for African-Americans and others (Native Americans, Asians, Jews) with the rise of white terrorists of the KKK, widespread lynching, unfulfilled promises of land and support (“40 acres and mule”), America’s Apartheid named “Jim Crow,” and its present iteration as mass incarceration.


Nationally, all these developments and social forces, plus local political and economic issues in Maine, conspired to doom the Malaga community. Internationally, the Malaga community shares a history not unlike those countless African communities in the Americas (known as maroon (Engl.), cimarron (Sp.), or quilombo (Bantu) who resisted bondage and struggled to maintain their freedom and independence. They too were destroyed physically, but their stories are beginning to be told.

The Malaga story may be directly connected to this global history of African diasporas for a slaving ship named Malaga that was built not far from the island in 1832 and was active in the illegal trans-Atlantic slave trade for many years.


Daniel Minter Bio:
Daniel Minter is an American artist known for his work in the mediums of painting and assemblage. His overall body of work often deals with themes of displacement and diaspora, ordinary/extraordinary blackness; spirituality in the Afro-Atlantic world; and the (re)creation of meanings of home. Minter works in varied media — canvas, wood, metal, paper. twine, rocks, nails, paint… This cross-fertilization strongly informs his artistic sensibility. His carvings become assemblages. His paintings are often sculptural. Throughout Minter’s work he embeds a kind of codex, a set of symbols called “keys” that tell a complex and layered story centered in an African American historical context yet are connected to Black histories in the Caribbean, West and Central Africa, and especially, Brazil.

“I am seeking to find ways to visually express the notion that all forms of life hold all other forms in themselves. We have the capacity to be in a quantum exchange with each other and all of forms of life in the universe”.

Minter’s work has been exhibited in numerous institutions and galleries including the Portland Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum, Tacoma Art Museum, Bates College, University of Southern Maine, The David C. Driskell Center and the Northwest African American Art Museum. A travel grant from the National Endowment for the Arts enabled him to live and work in Salvador, Bahia Brazil where he established relationships that have continued to nurture his life and work in important ways.

As founding director of Maine Freedom Trails, Minter has helped highlight the history of the Underground Railroad and the abolitionist movement in New England. For the past 15 years he has raised awareness of the forced removal in 1912 of an interracial community on Maine’s Malaga Island. His formative work on the subject of Malaga emerges from Minter’s active engagement with the island, its descendants, archeologists, anthropologists and scholars. His dedication to righting history was pivotal in the island’s dedication as a public preserve. In 2019, Minter co-founded Indigo Arts Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to cultivating the artistic development of people of African descent. Minter is a graduate of the Art Institute of Atlanta and holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from The Maine College of Art.

*monthly art walk in Portsmouth

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Select pieces in this exhibit are gratefully on loan from Greenhut Galleries.

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Stay connected to the Gallery from home: view the virtual Gallery!

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3S Artspace is supported by the New England Foundation for the Arts through the New England Arts Resilience Fund, part of the United States Regional Arts Resilience Fund, an initiative of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, with major funding from the federal CARES Act and the American Rescue Plan from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Thank you to our year-round Lead Sponsors: