Texas-based artist Delita Martin explores the power of the narrative of women of color, spirituality, and communal intimacy between women in her new series Conjure, currently on view at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. Martin’s finished works combine collaging, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sewing techniques, placing her figures amid patterns to visually represent what it looks like when we become the spiritual other.
She often looks to vintage and family photographs as a source of inspiration. As a girl, she watched her grandmother use jars to keep objects that held stories of their family history. These objects, one by one, wove Martin’s history and the spirits of her ancestors into the tapestry of her imagination that later became prevalent in her work. Each work uniquely speaks to the complexity of spirit, race, gender, beauty, and in some ways deals with empowering transformations, captivating and commanding attention. Martin’s creative portraits fuse the real and the fantastic.
Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally. Most recently Martin’s work was shown at the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, DC, and welcomed into the Library of Congress. She served as the 2021 keynote speaker for the Mid America Print Council.
In 2020, Delita Martin created the Black Box Press Foundation to give artists the opportunity to fund and showcase their work. Through grants, the foundation supports artists in the production of an exhibition that combines the creative energy of the arts to move viewers emotionally with the strategic planning of activism necessary to bring about social change.