Sanford Biggers, Selah, 2017, antique quilt fragments, sequins, Aqua-Resin, and steel, 130 1/4 x 38 x 38 in. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2020.10. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.
What colors do you notice? What shapes and patterns do you see?
By using antique quilts in his artwork, Biggers encourages us to think about the different ways in which objects hold meaning. How does this insight into the artist’s working method and thoughts help you to make sense of the work?
Wrapped in vintage and antique quilts the artist collects, this sculpture‘s protective layers symbolize tradition, care, and history in the making. For Selah, Sanford Biggers partially destroyed and then enlarged a souvenir African tribal figurine raising its arms in prayer. Fittingly, selah, means “forever” or “amen.”
In 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri. This sculpture also references the rallying cry “hands up, don’t shoot,” heard at Black Lives Matter protests across the country.
How is the artist connecting past and present issues? What does this artwork teach us about the past? How does it teach us about the future? How do you take inspiration from history? What historical issues can you connect to the present day?
What role does protest play in a democracy?
Exhibition sponsored by Kenneth C. Griffin
Learning and engagement programming for We the People: The Radical Notion of Democracy is sponsored by:
Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation | Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates, & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. | Johnny and Jeanie Morris, Bass Pro Shops | Alturas Foundation | Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc. | Sotheby’s | Bob and Becky Alexander | Marybeth and Micky Mayfield | Lamar and Shari Steiger | Jeff and Sarah Teague / Citizens Bank | Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities | Avis and Bill Bailey | Scarlett and Neff Basore | June Carter Family | Terri and Chuck Erwin | Jackye and Curtis Finch | The Harrison and Rhonda French Family | Jim and Susan von Gremp | Laurice Hachem | Shannon and Charles Holley | Valorie and Randy Lawson / Lawco Energy Group | Donna and Mack McLarty | Steve and Susan Nelson | Neal and Gina Pendergraft | Helen Porter | JT and Imelda Rose | Lee and Linda Scott | Stella Boyle Smith Trust, Catherine and Michael Mayton, Trustees | William Reese Company