Artist Sadie Barnette Has Something To Say

Sadie & Rodney.jpg

Creative daughter turns father’s lived experience into an exhibit


Rodney and Sadie Barnette. Photo: courtesy of Sadie Barnette

In her new exhibit, Dear 1968, Barnette combines personal and political histories to tell the story of her father’s FBI surveillance and reminds us that the injustices of 1968 are not ancient history.  Combing information sourced from the 500-page FBI surveillance file her father obtained through the Freedom of Information Act along with family photographs, and recent drawings she creates a compelling visual.

Artist Sadie Barnette. Photo: courtesy of Baxter ST

Artist Sadie Barnette. Photo: courtesy of Baxter ST

Sadie’s father, Rodney Barnette, founded the Compton, California chapter of the Black Panther Party in 1968 and was put on the FBI watch list and labeled an extremist in the same year.  On April 30 at 2:00 pm The Past is Present: Sadie Barnette and Rodney Barnette in Conversation will take place at the Manetti Shrem Museum of Art, University of California, Davis.  Rujeko Hockley, Assistant Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art, will moderate.  Dear 1968 will be on exhibit at the museum through June 30, 2017.

Barnette’s work is in such permanent collections as The Pérez Art Museum in Miami, the California African American Museum, and The Studio Museum in Harlem.  She lives and works in California.


© Jelani Bandele 2017

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