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Smelling the Wind

Smelling the Wind

Audre Lorde, Poet • Rico Gatson, Artist

About the Poet

Audre Lorde (1934-1992) published 11 volumes of poetry and five works of prose. Her honors include a National Book Award for "A Burst of Light," a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and honorary doctorates from Hunter, Oberlin, and Haverford colleges. She was professor of English at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Hunter College. She co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press, and created Sisterhood in Support of Sisters in South Africa. She served as poet laureate of New York from 1991-1992. Her collected poems, "The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde," was published posthumously in 1997.

About the Artist

Rico Gatson is a multimedia visual artist whose work explores themes of history, identity, popular culture, and spirituality, through sculpture, painting, video, and public art projects. Over the course of almost two decades, he has been celebrated for politically layered artworks, often based on significant moments in black history. The Watts Riots, the formation of the Black Panthers, and the election of President Barack Obama are a few subjects touched upon in his work.

His work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Essl Museum, Austria, Vienna; and The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

In 2019, "{Beacons}," his MTA Arts & Design commissioned artwork, was permanently installed in the Bronx; each of the eight large-scale mosaics features a prominent figure associated with the borough. His work is featured in the permanent collections of The Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Denver Art Museum, The Cheekwood Museum, The Kempner Museum, and The Yale University Art Gallery. His work is also included in numerous private collections.

"Smelling the Wind" read by Shantell Martin