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Highlights From The Past Decade

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The Beauty Shop Project
Portrait drawings hang in two rows

​In 2014 the Beauty Shop Project began as a way to engage community members around issues of hair, self-image, self-care, health, and civic engagement. As one of their long term goals, the project uses creative social practices methods to promote a stronger community. In their partnership with IHRC, the Beauty Shop Project sought to research how vernacular communal spaces like black beauty shops can be locations of collective creativity and imagination. Since their initial grant, the Beauty Shop Project has expanded their influence into the Portraits of Wilmington drawing event (2017), and mostly recently partnered with the "Picturing Beauty: Celebrating Real Women" exhibit at the Delaware Art Museum. The larger exhibit, Posing Beauty in African American Culture runs through January 26, 2020, and you can find more information at their website

The Creative Vision Factory Archives
Three people sit around a table working together. There is artwork spread around the table.

The Creative Vision Factory Archives is the product of a partnership between the University of Delaware and Creative Vision Factory (CVF), a community arts center located in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, that provides work and exhibition space to individuals on the behavioral health spectrum. Sponsored by the Wilmington Archives Project, students in Anne Bowler’s SOCI/MCST 449: Sociology of Art and Culture seminar combined classroom work with research projects centered on writing biographical profiles of artists and cataloguing their works. Initiated in the fall 2018 semester, the archive will feature over 200 works by 15 artists by the close of the fall 2019 semester. David Kim, a founder of the Wilmington Archive Project, introduced students to digital pedagogy and the Getty Research Institute archive platform for both semesters. A collections-based grant from IHRC for the fall 2019 semester provided funds for photographing new work. CVF artist, Geraldo Gonzalez, and seven images of his work from the new CVF archives will appear in an article by Anne Bowler and Nancy Josephson for the upcoming December-January issue of Raw Vision, an international journal for self-taught art. IHRC funds for the fall 2019 semester also made possible a class trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where selections from the museum’s outstanding collection of self-taught art were made available for students to view, and a guest lecture by Cara Zimmerman (MA Delaware), a Vice President at Christie’s New York who specializes in folk and outsider art. A project designed to promote experiential learning and community engagement, the CVF archives provide a permanent, publicly accessible record of achievement for the artists of Creative Vision Factory.

You can experience the Creative Vision Factory's archive on their website.

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Highlights From The Past Decade
  • Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center
  • 77 East Main St
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-4776
  • ihrc-info@udel.edu