7 Mile Fly Girl
For All That I AM ll Richmond-Edwards created 7 Mile Fly Girl, which is part of a body of work that she has been developing entitled 7 Mile Girls. 7-Mile is the street/community where she grew up, situated on the West side of Detroit. The subject featured in 7 Mile Fly Girl represents the young resilient women that dwell and thrive within the urban cityscape. The Coogi Sweater the subject in the piece adorns is a visual signifier that serves as a recurring motif prevalent within Richmond-Edwards’ work. Moreover, the Coogi Sweater also functions as an homage to the fashion aesthetics of her childhood growing up in Detroit. The feathers that flank the arms of the female subject in 7 Mile Fly Girl is a double entendre for being “fly” or “hip in colloquial terms in addition to referencing to Richmond-Edwards’ Native American ancestry. She is Muscogee and Choctaw.
All That I AM is an edition series organized by curator Larry Ossei-Mensah in collaboration with Art and Culture Projects that explores the complexities of cultural identity through the lens of contemporary art. The second installment of this series features three dynamic female artists Firelei Baez, Jamea Richmond-Edwards and Deborah Roberts, all of whom skillfully utilize figuration as a tool as to explore the complicated layers that encompass the African American and Afro-Caribbean experience and identity. As a result of their rigorous studio practices, Baez, Richmond-Edwards, and Roberts portray their subjects with surgical care as they unapologetically engage the viewer’s gaze with regal self-assurance.
Using techniques that incorporate painting, collage, mixed media in addition to other materials, Baez, Richmond-Edwards, and Roberts construct transformative narratives replete with a web of cultural, social, political, and art historical references that celebrate marginalized individuals who history has mistreated, exploited, or grossly overlooked. These three artists create colorful works with bravado that beguile and invite the viewer to confront the plethora of issues, ideas, and concerns manifested through their work as they embark on a quest to rewrite the constructs that shape our culture, society, and identity today.
The first edition of All That I AM featured Derrick Adams, Sanford Biggers, Phoebe Boswell, and Kameelah Janan Rasheed.