Marlon Forrester’s chair represents Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the first African-American Congressional representative from his district and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. One aspect that Marlon found inspiring about Congresswoman Pressley is that she believes citizen engagement can affect and change how Americans see the world.
The chair sculpture is a combination of the old and new. Congresswoman Pressley has a very strong grounding in African-American ideas of narrative, justice, and social empowerment. Marlon named his chair the “Black Butterfly”; he emphasizes the name with a butterfly wing shaped back. He combined the old with new by using wood and steel. The armrests on the chair are a combination of black leather and metal. Black metal beads drip from the butterfly wings, reminiscent of the brilliant braided hair for which the Congresswoman was known when running for election.
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Marlon Forrester, born in Guyana, South America, is an artist and educator raised in Boston, MA. Forrester is a graduate of School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, B.A., and Yale School of Art, M.F.A. 2010. He is currently a painting lecturer at School of The Museum of Fine Arts Boston at Tufts University and BPS Visual Arts Teacher. He is a resident artist at African-American Masters Artist Residency Program (AAMARP), adjunct to the Department of African-American Studies in association with Northeastern University. He is an artist who explores the corporate use of the black male body, or the body as logo through the lens of basketball, through painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation.
Do you, your classroom, or your group want to make your own chair? We have many resources that lead you through the activity!
And don’t forget to come back to submit photos of your chair for a chance to be featured on the website.
The “A Seat at the Table” exhibit was made possible by the generous support of the Fund II Foundation.