In conjunction with the exhibition Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness at the Colby Museum, the Lunder Institute for American Art hosted Spelman College dance students Kaela Lawrence, Brittany Mathis, Aquilah Ohemeng, Veronica Ramsey, Kaylah Smith, Summer Kai Thomas, and Thulani Vereen at Colby for a week-long residency in April 2019.
The students were accompanied by Spelman dance faculty senior lecturer Kathleen Wessel and Makeba Dixon-Hill, curator of education at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art.
This program foregrounded dance and performance as ways of engaging with history, self-expression, and identity. During their visit, the Spelman College students participated in “Critical Race Feminisms and Tap Dance,” a course by Sonja Thomas, Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. They also met with arts consultant Ella Baff, former program officer at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and long-time director of renowned dance center Jacob’s Pillow. The residency culminated in a public performance choreographed by the Spelman dancers in the Somnyama Ngonyama exhibition space at the Colby Museum.
Zanele Muholi: Somnyama Ngonyama, Hail the Dark Lioness is organized by Autograph, London, and curated by Renée Mussai. Prior to its presentation at the Colby Museum, the exhibition appeared at the Spelman College Museum of Fine Art in Atlanta.