12/02/2019 Phillips Museum of Art

Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom

Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom

Dana Gallery

January 23–March 23, 2020

This exhibition closed early due to heightened safety precautions.

Sonya Clark’s (American, b. 1967) mixed media works use everyday objects to address tangled histories, cultural heritage, and identity. Recently, Clark has turned her attention to creating installations that coincide with national conversations about racism and violence and who “owns” history in the United States. To that end, the Phillips Museum of Art is delighted to present Sonya Clark’s new site-specific installation Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom which highlights Lancaster as a location along the Underground Railroad and the use of the night sky, specifically the Big Dipper constellation, to orient those seeking freedom. 

Sonya Clark is a Professor of Art and the History of Art at Amherst College in Massachusetts and was a Distinguished Research Fellow in the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University. She earned an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BA from Amherst College where she also received an honorary doctorate in 2015. Her work has been exhibited in over 350 museums and galleries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. She is the recipient of a United States Artist Fellowship, a Pollock Krasner award, an 1858 Prize, and an Anonymous Was a Woman Award.

Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom is curated by Amy Moorefield, Director of the Phillips Museum of Art at Franklin & Marshall College. Funding for the exhibition and its related programming has been supported in part by the Richard C. von Hess Foundation Collaborative Residency in Art History; F&M Art & Art History Department’s Conrad Nelson Speaker Fund; F&M’s Humanities Initiative; F&M’s Africana Studies program; F&M’s Economics Department Initiative on Inequality, Poverty, Power, and Social Justice; and the Phillips Museum of Art. Programming support provided by F&M’s Ware College House and the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania .

Related Events:

Common Hour with Sonya Clark, Conrad Nelson Speaker, Department of Art & Art History, and Richard C. von Hess Foundation Collaborative Residency in Art History recipient, January 23, 11:30 a.m., Mayser Gymnasium, Followed by a reception at 1 p.m. in the Dana Gallery

Underground Railroad Presentation with African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania, February 6, 5:30 p.m., Dana Gallery


Tumbnail Image Credit:  Sonya Clark, Finding Freedom creation process with heritage seeds, 2019, Courtesy of the artist

  • “Many of my family members taught me the value of a well-told story and so it is that I value the stories held in objects,” Clark says. Image Credit: Courtesy of Sonya Clark
  • Photograph of part of "Sonya Clark: Finding Freedom," made of cyanotype treated fabric sown together to show different constellations. Image Credit: Sonya Clark, Finding Freedom creation process, 2019, Courtesy of the artist
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