University of Central Arkansas

UCA hosts Cherice Harrison-Nelson as artist-in-residence

Conway Institute of Music

CONWAY-The University of Central Arkansas will host New Orleans-based textile and beadwork artist Cherice Harrison-Nelson, as an artist-in-residence from Wednesday, Sept. 6, to Thursday, Sept. 7.

Harrison-Nelson will hold a public film screening of “Keeper of the Flame” on Wednesday, Sept. 6, at 7 p.m., in the Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts Concert Hall. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session. This event is free and open to the public.

“Keeper of the Flame” explores the Black Indian tradition from a woman’s perspective and is directed by Brian Harrison-Nelson. The film received the Paul Robeson Award for an independent Black film in 2011.

Taking place shortly before the film screening, Harrison-Nelson will host a workshop titled “Storytelling through Shadow Box.” The workshop will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

Cherice Harrison-Nelson
Cherice Harrison-Nelson

Harrsion-Nelson creates performances that challenge the hierarchies of gender and class. She serves as a leader in the African-American Carnival dress art tradition that uses narrative beadwork, dance, featherwork and chanting with percussive instrumentation.

“I am not masking when I debut my ceremonial attire on Carnival morning, I am revealing my authentic self, naked and rooted in the strength of my personal history,” said Harrison-Nelson.

Additionally, Harrison-Nelson will host a public performance of “The Plague Doctor” on Thursday, Sept. 7, from 1:40-2:30 p.m., at the Alumni Circle in front of Old Main on UCA’s campus. In the event of rain, the performance will be held in Ida Waldran Auditorium in Old Main.

A reception will take place for Harrison-Nelson on Thursday, Sept. 7, from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Hearne Fine Art Gallery, located at 1001 Wright Ave., in Little Rock.

As founder and director of the Guardians Institute, Harrison-Nelson has facilitated hundreds of panels, public installations and interactive workshops educating the community about the arts and culture of the Mardi Gras Indians.

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