For the 2021 Teen Museum Studies program exhibition, students selected Summer Brooks, an emerging artist from O’Fallon, Illinois. Brooks’s work challenges harmful narratives of beauty standards for African American women and engages viewers in conversations about stereotypes placed onto people of color by colorism and racism. Through an immersive program, Teen Museum Studies participants worked with Brooks to present a new series of sculptures that take mannequin molds with Eurocentric features and transform them into figures with African features using black-washed terracotta and unconventional materials. The exhibition aims to elevate and celebrate the power of positive representation of Black women.
Summer Brooks: The New Garden Variety is organized for the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis by Keteyian Cade, Ruby Folkner, Halla Jones, Finn Kanak, Ivy Kanak, Elizabeth Keeley, Annie Li, Cozette Mothershead, Ellen Rose, Laila Smith, and Katherine Welch with support by Jason Vasser-Elong, Museum Educator.