The Hood Museum of Art happily welcomes a new work honoring the Black women graduates of 1973 to 1976 by visual artist and Dartmouth alum Wendy (Thompson) Kendrick '76. This commemorative work was commissioned by the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (BADA), which unveiled it during their 50th reunion celebration (May 27–30, 2022), after which it entered the museum's collection. Its acquisition at Dartmouth was made possible by the Class of 1968.
Kendrick, whose work was recently featured in a PBS special, majored in art at Dartmouth and continued her studies in graduate training programs and professional artist workshops. Her creations are influenced by the mixed-media art of Faith Ringgold and the collage techniques of Romare Bearden and include quilts, African-inspired masks, tapestries, and wall hangings styled in collages of layered textiles. "My love of colors, patterns, and shapes interplays within my pieces, reflecting the complexities of people and cultures. Quite a bit of my art deals with the special bond that women enjoy with one another," Kendrick says.
Dartmouth's 1972 transition to education brought a group of thirty-eight Black women who graduated between 1973 and 1976 and went on to have successful careers in the performing and visual arts, law, business, and education. One such graduate, Eileen Cave '76, comments, "We represented an uprooting of Black seedlings harvested across this nation and other continents and replanted at the College to create a new landscape. The trees are now towering, bearing fruit while giving back to the soil that nurtured us."
Kendrick's compelling work, titled 38 Strong!, introduces a powerful new voice to the museum's collection. We can't wait to see it in the galleries.