Adrienne Powers

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Adrienne Powers was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She began her artistic studies at the Cleveland Institute of Art and continued her studies at Carnegie-Mellon University. Adrienne received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1990 from CMU. Adrienne is a member of Women of Visions, Inc., an African-American women’s visual artist organization (based in Pittsburgh, Pa) and currently exhibits with the group. She resides in Evanston, Il and is actively exhibiting in the greater Chicago area.

My work focuses on the spiritual belief systems from West Africa that were brought over to the Americas during the Middle Passage, resulting in a very culturally and spiritually rich African people being sold into slavery. The spiritualities in the African Diaspora were adaptable to the influence of Native American beliefs and some beliefs syncretized with Christianity for the survival of the African Gods.

The journey started with one page in a novel that mentioned Haitian Voudou evolved from African Vodun. This was history that I was unfamiliar with, my knowledge of “Voodoo” (the Western adaptation of the correct name Vodun/Voudou/Vodou/Vudu) was based on a Western media-centered and a highly inaccurate perspective. This brief encounter with one page in a novel was the inspiration for one painting, the start of 9 years of research and personal shift in my spirituality.

I’ve chosen to communicate the impact that these sacred and spiritual histories have had on me through figurative expression, the interpretation of patterns, symbols, texture and color. Inspired by the spirituality from African Vodun, Ifa of the Yoruba, Lucumi of Cuba, New Orleans Voodoo, Ancient Kemet, Brazilian Candomblé, Obeah from the Carribean, Hoodoo and Rootwork from the Southern United States, Ancestor Reverence, spirit and other earth based belief systems, my work is meant to visually interpret the richness of this history. My intent is for the viewer to consider the vibrant energy of the work as it strives to communicate the spiritual richness of Ancient Africa.

-Adrienne Powers

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