From the Mississippi Delta (Primary Title)

Murry N. DePillars, American, 1938 - 2008 (Artist)

acrylic on canvas
United States
Unframed (sight): 41 3/4 × 31 5/8 in. (106.05 × 80.33 cm)
Framed: 43 5/16 × 33 5/16x 2 3/8in. (110.01 × 84.61 cm)
Not on view

DePillars served as Dean of the School of the Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University from 1976 to 1995. He was also an active member of AfriCOBRA, or the African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists, a Chicago-based collective of African American artists active since the 1960s. 


DePillars painted From the Mississippi Delta in honor of Endesha Ida Mae Holland’s autobiographical play by the same name. The child at the center, the play’s main character, waves goodbye to the abuse she suffered in her native Mississippi. The halo of dot patterns around her represents the protection of her ancestral guardians as well as her ability to transcend trauma, while the brightly colored geometric shapes of Delta quilt-patterns form the border of the painting.

Gift of Friends of African and African American Art, VMFA
Identity Shifts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, April 26 – July 27, 2014
©artist or artist’s estate

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