(Above: Lives Not Forgotten (acrylic and acrylic ink on canvas) by Jeanne Marie McClure.)
Since 2017, a growing group of local residents has been working to restore the Green Hill Historic African-American Cemetery (GHHAAC) in Martinsburg. The idea for the show at Berkeley Art Works, Fresh Visions: An Exhibit to Celebrate the Green Hill Historic African-American Cemetery, was proposed by Berkeley Arts Council member and GHHAAC volunteer Charles Mortensen. His intent is to bring attention to the cemetery and the GHHAAC Committee, a not-for-profit group of volunteers who organized to clean up and care for the cemetery site adjacent to the main Green Hill cemetery. The exhibit is also a fundraiser for the GHHAAC Committee.
Several themes are represented in this show, including revitalization and preservation activities at the site; preservation of the history and identity of the cemetery; and commemoration and remembrance of souls buried there. The show includes the work of twelve artists, presenting approximately 20 works of art with a range of media and techniques represented, including drawing, painting, photography, woodworking, stained glass, clay, mixed-media, assemblage, collage, and gravestone rubbing, as well as historical artifacts.
The Fresh Visions exhibit runs through March 20. Berkeley Art Works is located at 116 N. Queen Street, Martinsburg. Open Fridays & Saturdays, 11 am – 3 pm. Website: BerkeleyArtsWV.org.
The non-profit Berkeley Arts Council supports local and regional artists, brings quality arts experiences to the community, and provides a wide range of arts learning experiences for local residents, artists and artisans. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 304-620-7277.
Green Hill Historic African-American Cemetery Committee
The Cemetery Committee adopted the Sankofa Bird as its logo. This symbol has roots in the Akan people of West Africa. Sankofa is expressed as a mythic bird that flies forward while looking backwards with an egg (symbolizing the future) in its mouth. The Cemetery Committee reflected this symbology in its own motto: “In order to understand our present and ensure our future, we must know our past.”
The Cemetery Committee welcomes volunteers and financial contributions. Email email@example.com or phone 304-279-5162. Information about the Cemetery can be found on Facebook.By Staff Contributor