The Whitney, our greatest museum devoted solely to American artists, has two great and timely exhibits of work pulled from its permanent collection right now. One devoted to protest art and another devoted to the broader theme of American life, with emphasis on the country’s ills and artists perseverance through the worst. There was a lot that caught my eye. A lot of it overwhelming, but I just wanted to share this happy selection from it about the artist Minnie Evans. I think it speaks for itself. 40 years after “My First” she’d have her first major museum show at the Whitney and continues to hang on the walls alongside all the other American greats. 

alluroa  asked:

i would literally give up my firstborn child for another genderswap au bcos jane potter is so hot im deadt

Jane, flirting, tells him his hair looks like a carrot fucked a fire hydrant.

“Charming.” Liam says.

“This is the part where you say something back and we verbally spar.” She responds, leaning with one muddy soccer boot up against the side of the library. McGonagall would have a fit. He puts his hands in his pockets and pretends to look at the street.

“Not today it isn’t.”

“C’mon,” she grins, ducking her head so her hair falls forward. “You’re making me feel bad. You’ve got to say something back otherwise it’s like bullying.”

“What do you mean ‘like’ bullying.”

“Please. If it was real bullying I would have your lunch money.”

“I don’t bring lunch money.”

“Good thing I’m not bullying you then.” She says, cheerfully, and he laughs. It appears halfway through this conversation he got bored with pretending to look at the road and has started actively staring at her again. He turns back.

“Your hair looks like you shoved a fork into a toaster.” He says, and she laughs now.

“’Knew you’d give in. Now we’re both bullying each other.”

He looks back at her. “I thought you said it wasn’t bullying.”

She smirks, soccer uniform covered in mud from making unnecessary slides across the pitch every time she makes a goal, which is often enough that he can see grass burn bleeding on her knees. He’s going to ask if she needs a bandage, and then she quirks her eyebrow at him, and he cannot for the life of him remember his name.

“Evans, you are aware I can see you ogling my legs.” Liam’s head snaps back to the street.

“I wasn’t ogling.”

“You bloody were.”

“I don’t ogle.”

“Fine. Staring. Gazing. Gawking, if you will.”

“I won’t.”

“Liam Evans, staring at my legs in front of everybody”

“There is no one else here.“

“You were ogling.” She pushes off the wall, arms folded and still smirking, advancing on him. “Perfectly understandable really, they are, dare I say it, the best legs this side of London.”

He scoffs, looking at the sky and not at her. “You’re so full of it.”

“I can’t help having great legs any more than you can help having hair that looks like a red traffic light threw up on Amy Adams.”

“Whose Amy Adams?” he feigns ignorance.

“I know you know who fucking Amy Adams is.”

He swings back on his heels. “Hmm, can’t say I do, but you had better watch your potty mouth or I’m going to report you to McGonagall.” He’s looking at her again. God goddammit.

“Minnie loves me.” She’s almost right next to him now, a good head shorter, bag over her shoulder, knees still bleeding. Her glasses are cracked in the left corner.

“She won’t once I tell her how you’ve been bullying me.” He says, and she smiles. The wind blows slightly, and God, she’s fucking pretty. His fingers itch to touch her jawline, the base of her throat, her cheekbone. There is always too much space between them.

“You know the library closes at six.” She breathes, looking at him, “and my practice ends at six-thirty.”

“I have no idea what you mean.” He lies, ridiculously.

“I mean,” her breath hitches, “You wait the extra half hour to see me.”

He wants to do something dumb, like kiss her or kiss her again, but she’s far too clever and pretty and he would have no idea where to put his hands.  The world is impossibly still. His heart is thudding loud enough she must be able to hear it.

A car screeches into the street and reels up next to them, almost clipping the curb. “Potter!” Sarah Black sticks her head out the window and yells to be heard over the radio, “if you get mud on my seats again I’ll punch you in the tit!” Spotting Liam, she nods and takes a drag on her cigarette, “Evans. You’re here again.”

“Well spotted.” He croaks, trying to act normal and doing a bad job. Potter’s arm brushes against his on the way to the car and he shudders.

“Wanna lift?” Sarah asks, and he shakes his head. Jane stares at him through the passenger window, and he stares back. The only reason he comes to the library is to kill time before her practice ends. He would wait in the rain if he had to.

“Amy Adams was in Enchanted.” He blurts out, and Potter grins. He’s so far gone it’s embarrassing. He would do anything to make her look like that.  

Black gives him a weird look. “Don’t take too many drugs on school grounds, Evans, Minnie doesn’t like you nearly as much as she likes me.” She peels away, almost taking out a letterbox in the process, and he starts walking home, thinking about how she has practice tomorrow, and the grass burns on her knees, and the way her breath hitches when she stands to close to him.

The streetlamps go on, and in the harsh light she roars into his head, laughing, covered in mud, a dream girl unbelievably rooted in reality.


Women’s Outsider Art, Part IX:

Minnie Evans

Evans was born in 1892 in South Carolina. She attended school through the sixth grade, dropping out in 1903 because of the family’s economic hardship, finding a job as selling shellfish door to door. In 1908 she quit to marry, and worked as a full-time mother for eight years before becoming a paid domestic worker. Following a dream revelation, Evans began to draw and paint at the age of 43, creating her first pieces of artwork on a scrap of paper bag. Five years later she decided to really dedicate herself to recording her dreams through art. She painted her early works on US Coast guard stationery and later worked with more precision, using ink, graphite, wax crayon, watercolour and oil on canvas, board and paper. She died in 1987, and is now recognized as one of the most important visionary folk artist of the 20th century.

–from Wikipedia


There are moments, like right now, where I can feel the entire world passing through me. It’s not that I’m porous, per se. More like I can feel everything, like there’s a storm of affect around me and I’m stuck right at the middle. Conduit. Conscript. Conductor (the electrical kind, as there’s no music yet, though the word ‘ampere’ comes to mind as a kind of deceptive, false medium between these nodal points, between shock and shake and wail, between the amphitheater and amplification and the French philosopher-mathematician who built this connection for me before I was born). 

Minnie Evans started this whole thing. Watching the video, I found myself overwhelmed. So many divergent, weighty feelings. Gratitude, awe, confusion, familiarity, joy. I spend so much time thinking about “the work”, you know? I worry sometimes that people think I don’t, but I do. At shows, on the road, in the crib. The project is always with me, informing how I write and what I perform and where I am taking the strange assemblage that I’ve tried to build here. Yesterday, I stumbled upon the terms “ethnobotany” and “ethnobiology” and actually flipped out. Though a day later I’m not sure if these terms locate exactly what I’m tracking, they are certainly close. I know that there is something, or maybe an ensemble of somethings,  here in the archive that is calling to me. Something about plants, animals, Black religion, Afrofuturism, disability, imagination. The flash points are everywhere. What I’m working through is how to put them together. How to assemble them into a constellation that’s legible. “Black Nature Writing” is a term that works for me most days, but I’m not sure it gets at precisely what I *think* I am seeing, which is a body of texts that is trying to put such pressure on the genre of nature writing, pushing its boundaries so far out to the margins, that I’m not sure if it fits anymore. If it even wants to fit.

But maybe that’s the work of blackness in nature writing, “anarranging every line” as Moten might say. Maybe there isn’t some other term, some other frame, connecting Minnie Evans and George Washington Carver and Douglass and Morrison and Walker and Octavia and Chesnutt demanding to be addressed by its proper name. 

And, even if there is, is it really the name that I’m after? Or is it something about what these figures share? A spectacular secret? That Nature is both not “out there” (reading Timothy Morton has changed my life) but also kinda sorta is? This is what Lauren Olamina from Butler's Parable of the Sower gives us, right? A charge. To take root among the stars. To think conviviality in interplanetary terms. A radical immanence that is also elsewhere. 

ghostducky  asked:

What do you think about James being head-boy?

Lily: I’m so proud of him. 

*The day James was made head boy*

Lily: Hey Professor? Minnie? 

Minerva: Yes, Ms. Evans?

Lily: I’m just here to make sure you’re okay. That you’re eating well. Not sick or anything?

Minerva: I stand by my decision to give Mr. Potter his position. 

Lily: Um…okay, bye. See you in class.