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It’s the Season of Giving at TMA

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This Month at Tyler Museum of Art:

TMA Celebrates Season of Giving with Letitia Huckaby’s Lagniappe

The Tyler Museum of Art (TMA) is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave. on the Tyler Junior College main campus. Regular TMA hours are 10am-5pm Tuesday-Saturday, and 1-5pm Sunday. The Museum is closed Mondays and most major holidays. For more info call the museum at (903)595-1001, tylermuseum.org, or email info@tylermuseum.org.

Family faith and tradition are front and center in the Tyler Museum of Art’s major exhibition of the holiday season, “Lagniappe: Works by Letitia Huckaby,” open to the public Sunday, December 16th-March 17th in the TMA’s North Gallery. Admission is free.

Members and special guests are invited for a first look at the exhibition as part of its Donor Appreciation Holiday Party from 5:30-7pm Saturday, December 15th at the Museum. To RSVP or for information on becoming a TMA member, call (903)595-1001, visit tylermuseum.org, or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/Tyler.Museum.Of.Art.

Organized by the TMA and curated by Caleb Bell, Lagniappe highlights the recent work of an artist who fuses photography, quilting, silk screening, and a vast expanse of media with a distinctly regional sensibility but worldwide appeal, primarily exploring her own family history and African-American heritage.

Lagniappe is a term prevalent in the Louisiana French Creole culture, loosely defined as “a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase,” or “something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.” Bell said he and the artist decided on this regional term as the exhibition’s main title because it encapsulates the sense of community and kinship that is a prevalent theme in Huckaby’s work.

“The basic premise behind my work is faith, family, and legacy,” she said. “I am always looking at how the past relates to the present, and whether or not things have changed or remain the same. There is always a history built into the pieces, whether through the process or actual materials. I often use heirloom fabrics, and I think that is why so many people can relate to my work.”

As a natural extension of someone who began her career as a photojournalist, Huckaby said she remains “a photographer at heart,” starting each new work with an image as the foundation and evolving from there into printing on cotton fabric, hand-stitched together into traditional African-American quilting patterns and finished into quilts, dresses, sacks, or framed quilt tops.

“I love pushing the boundaries of photography by using a traditional practice in an untraditional way and hopefully creating a new visual language,” she said.

Huckaby received her master’s degree at the University of North Texas in 2010, and since has exhibited at venues including Dallas Contemporary, Galveston Arts Center, Renaissance Fine Art in Harlem, and the Texas Biennial at the Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio. Her work is featured in numerous public and private collections including the Library of Congress, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas in Beaumont, and Philadelphia’s Brandywine Workshop. She most recently was featured at the TMA alongside her husband, Sedrick Huckaby, in the 2014 exhibition “Flow into the Mystic: Marriage and the Contemporary Artist.”

Special Events

Special events in connection with the exhibition include free First Friday tours January 4th, February 1st, and March 1st. The first Friday of each month, 11am-12:30pm, the TMA offers a full day of free admission plus guided tours of its spotlight exhibitions. From contemporary Texas art to Hudson River School to Andy Warhol, each tour is unique.

Family Days will be from 2-4pm Saturday, January 12th, February 9th, and March 9th. Free admission, interactive art projects, light snacks, and a festive atmosphere for all ages are on the menu the second Saturday of each month with the Tyler Museum of Art’s Family Day.

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