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Beauty and race mix in artist Ewing’s work

Beauty and race mix in artist Ewing’s work

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“Peach and Plum” by Wanda Ewing, 2010
“Peach and Plum” by Wanda Ewing, 2010, acrylic, latex on canvas, 79 in. by 100 in. — Working with large paintings is new for the artist. “I like how exciting it is,” Ewing said. “You’re literally in the work while making it. It’s a lot more involved, and I loved it.”

KEARNEY — Wanda Ewing wants to focus her paintings on the idea of feminine beauty.

“It’s coming from the voice of being black and female,” the Omaha artist said of her work. “I’m living in an area where I don’t possess the conventional beauty standard. And I don’t see that reflected back in the media.”

Black feminine beauty standards send a confusing signal, she noted. In her artist statement Ewing writes: “This work was just the beginning of an exploration into how we as a society define feminine beauty and how race factors into this evaluation and conclusion, where they have been made, whether spoken or implied.”

Two large paintings, both part of the artist’s series “The Great Garden,” are part of “A Greater Spectrum: African American Artists of Nebraska 1912-2010” now on display at the Museum of Nebraska Art through April 3. The show features 91 pieces of art by 22 African American artists with ties to Nebraska.

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