NCMA Recommends: The Gulf Stream (after Winslow Homer)
Stacy Lynn Waddell, The Gulf Stream (after Winslow Homer), 2013, branded, burned, and singed paper with watercolor, gold leaf, and glitter, 33 x 44 in., Purchased with funds from the William R. Roberson Jr. and Frances M. Roberson Endowed Fund for North Carolina Art
Artist Statement: “Making art is a means of getting free”
Making art is a means of getting free. When I’m alone in my studio, impulses and ideas give way to images that both require reflection and provide a path forward. The Gulf Stream (after Winslow Homer), re-visions Homer’s original 1899 scene. Here, the Black male protagonist is no longer visible. His absence could be attributed to any number of circumstances presented in the tableau. However, the addition of the Pan African flag (also known as the Marcus Garvey or Black Liberation flag) gives way to a more empowering potential narrative. Returning to this work against the current backdrop of ongoing upheaval and struggle, particularly on the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, reminds me that the contrast between America’s founding promise and what she has bestowed remains frighteningly stark.—Stacy Lynn Waddell
Interview with the Artist: Stacy Lynn Waddell
Get an inside understanding of the work of Stacy Lynn Waddell as the artist discusses her work The Gulf Stream (after Winslow Homer), its relationship to the original painting, and how art and history can be revised to include the narratives of the unseen builders of our American story. Juneteenth is not only a day of celebrating independence for enslaved people, but also a celebration of all it took to win that independence.
View Homer’s Painting in Your Home
Stacy Lynn Waddell’s painting is inspired by The Gulf Stream by Winslow Homer (1899), from the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Use Google’s free Arts and Culture app to place Homer’s painting in your home. You will be able to see Waddell’s inspiration in real size.—Felicia Ingram, Manager of Interpretation, Accessibility, and Diversity
Films Highlighting Black Americans in History
These films depict pivotal moments in American history through the perspective of Black Americans. They show the impact of these events on the nation and highlight the important roles Black Americans played.—Maria Lopez, Manager of Film and Lecture Programs
• Mudbound (2017). Director: Dee Rees. Two Mississippi families confront the brutal realities of prejudice in the World War II era. Watch on Netflix.
• Da 5 Bloods (2020). Director: Spike Lee. Four African American veterans of the Vietnam War return decades later seeking the remains of their fallen squad leader and a gold fortune. Watch on Netflix.
Reframing the Black American Experience
Learn more about two powerful sites that reframe the narratives of the Black experience: the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum: From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration in Montgomery, Alabama. A good overview of both can be found in this Artforum article.—Erin Rutherford, Librarian
Learn More about the Painting
Stacy Lynn Waddell uses her signature technique—the burning, singeing, and branding of papers and fabric—to create mixed-media works. This specialized incineration process, which forms a sepia or black stain, allows golden, ghostly figures to emerge, dreamlike, through the surface of papers and canvases. When these images are combined with large-scale photo reproductions, the viewer is absorbed into an installation that is both familiar and strange, both spectral and ultrarealistic. Learn more about this work of art on NCMALearn, as well as additional resources for parents for addressing bias, racial identity, and inequity with children.
We are honored to work with community partners through our Mindful Museum series. Learn more about two of these partners and teachers. Colors of Yoga is Raleigh’s only Black-owned yoga studio. Join their inclusive yoga community here. Every Friday in June, they are holding closed classes for Black people called Soul Care; see all their virtual class offerings here. Michelle C. Johnson is an activist, empath, and intuitive healer based out of Winston-Salem. She specializes in the intersection of yoga and social justice. Learn more about her Skill in Action book and current online trainings here.
NCMA in Dialogue: A Musical Journey through American Race Relations
Join us on Thursday, July 2, from 7 to 8:30 pm for a free webinar and Q&A on the impact of Black music on American culture, identity, and social progress. Through his wealth of experience working with groups of all ages, cultural activist and musician Eric Dozier shines a light at the crossroads of music and American race relations. He performs songs and discusses key musical figures and themes from the abolition, civil rights, labor, and antiwar movements, as well as other contemporary voices of change. These songs, and the stories that surround them, offer vivid insight as a crucial ingredient in these struggles for progress and unity.