WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Dare Coulter is no stranger to using her artistic skills to showcase Wilmington’s history. Just last month, she unveiled a sculpture at UNCW inspired by black lives and history.
Now, she’s painted a portrait of Dr. Lucy Hughes Brown that hangs along the walls of the Black on Black Project’s new exhibit, “Continuum of Change,” part of the 1897 initiative. Brown was the first black female doctor licensed in the Carolinas. She practiced in Wilmington in the late 19th century.
“With Black on Black project it seems like there’s a reignition every couple years where we get the team back up and do something magical,” said Coulter. “So, this was the most recent thing in that and it’s serendipitous because of the work that’s happening in Wilmington with the monument, with everything else.”
Coulter hopes the exhibit will help build an understanding and a pathway towards equality. The artwork is a series of portraits of black leaders who people involved in the project say helped to bring change to the Wilmington area.
“With Wilmington, continuing this work is so important,” said Coulter. “When we did the monument unveiling, one of the things I said is, ‘The best time to plant a tree was 10 years ago, the second best time is today.’”
Hanging above the portraits is a series of drawings from local students who used the assignment as a chance to learn and reflect.
“I was telling them about the wonderful people who are in these paintings and how lucky they are to be able to be in an exhibition which included these fabulous painters, these wonderful artists who are reflecting on 1897,” said Fritzi Huber, representing Dreams of Wilmington.
The “Continuum of Change” exhibit serves as an opportunity to learn about Wilmington’s past and to prepare for the city’s future.
“I think for the sake of the generations after us we have to continue to have these conversations about the massacre of 1898, about the way that things continued from that point,” said Coulter. “And making dedicated and intentional changes to those structures that were built surrounding, and because of, those injustices.”
The exhibit will be on display at 216 N. Front Street in Wilmington through August 28. Gallery hours are Thursdays and Fridays 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fourth Friday receptions will also be held on July 23 and August 27.
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