ransome paintings, installations share personal and universal stories of the Great Migration

Geary gallery in Millerton, NY presents “The Bitter and the Sweet,” by Rhinebeck, NY  based artist, ransome, from April 20 through June 2, 2024. An opening reception with the artists will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 on April 20th. In his first exhibit at Geary, ransome uses patterns, shapes, colors, marks and other elements to focus on African American communities who  migrated from the South to northern cities between 1915 and the 1970’s during the Great Migration.

ransome focuses on his own family’s migration of maternal aunts and uncle’s, nine of whom settled in the urban centers of Baltimore, Brooklyn, Newark and Paterson, NJ. Patterns and colors evoke memories of past lives and a connection to shared rituals – Sunday’s best attire and weddings, birthdays and work days.

Each pattern, color and texture tells the story of his family’s legacy. Items such as curtains, sheets, and jackets, create a history that makes their own visual language. This language works similar to blues music and is the vernacular of people whose voices were muted and silenced in the Jim Crow South yet made their own. 

The installation, Shotgun House, features the migration story of a community in Albany, New York known as Rapp Road which was established  in the 1920s by Rev. Louis W. Parson. Rev. Parson moved to the north from rural Mississippi with his wife during the Great Migration, followed  by other members of his congregation. The community eventually moved outside of the city and bought land along Rapp Road. Four folks from this community are featured in a video through the small windows in Shotgun House, while the other two windows display patterns that are  a part of their lives.

ransome’s abstract works utilize narratives that are personal, yet contain symbols that interplay with larger social, racial, ancestral, economic and political histories that speak to current issues. Each piece in The Bitter and the Sweet is imbued with lyrical yet authentic reverberations  of resilience, limited resources, and frugality; exploring the struggle and  hope, pain, joy, and soul of folks in the Black community.

About ransome

ransome received his MFA from Lesley University. In his practice he combines acrylic paint with an array of found, created, and purchased papers.

He had a solo exhibit at Alpha Galley, Opalka Gallery, CAM Raleigh and The Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, South Carolina and  group shows at Katonah Museum of Art, The Sigal Museum, The SECCA Museum, MASS MoCA, Weatherspoon Museum of Art, the Visual Art  Center of New Jersey, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art.

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