Fort Worth, TX (January 14, 2022) — Kinfolk House announced today grand opening dates and details of Welcome — the first project from internationally celebrated artists Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby marking the official launch of their collaborative community space in North Texas. During a special opening event on Saturday, February 26 from 5 pm – 8 pm, Kinfolk House will open the doors of the reimagined 100-year-old historic home to invite members of the Polytechnic neighborhood, art enthusiasts, and community members to come together to experience a new interpretation of the traditional gallery space. Kinfolk seeks to remove many of the traditional barriers established by the art world and instead create bridges between community and creativity in a space where all feel welcome.
Welcome will open to the public on February 26 and run through April 24, 2022. Throughout the showing of their inaugural project, Kinfolk House will be open to the public and host community events that connect to the larger theme and heart of the project. To find out more about the upcoming community projects, visit kinfolkhouse.org.
Kinfolk House will be open throughout the week and by special appointments:
- Monday / Wednesday 9 am – 1 pm
- Friday / Saturday 11 am – 5 pm
- Sunday Noon – 5 pm
- By appointment as available
Words from The Artists: Welcome
February 26, 2022 – April 24, 2022
As a collaborative project space, Kinfolk House presents more than simple exhibitions or pairings of artists, it provokes dialogue between artists and creatives. In this first year, it is important that our projects embody Kinfolk House’s core values. Our first project, Welcome, by Letitia and Sedrick Huckaby grounds the space in family, tradition, and legacy by collaborating with Sedrick’s grandmother, Hallie Beatrice Carpenter, whose maiden name was Welcome.
Carpenter, known as Big Momma, was the matriarch of the family and left a lasting legacy. She had the unique ability to bring people together and make them feel at home. Though not an artist herself, she expressed her creativity through textiles, fashion, and music. Assisted by family, the Huckabys have selected a collection of memorabilia and sound recordings to exhibit alongside their own work as part of the collaborative nature of the space.
Sedrick’s paintings of his grandmother form a direct connection to the former homeowner. The paintings span several years, beginning prior to Big Momma’s death and extending to present day. Through layers of paint, Sedrick reveals the emotional history of the home and the changes of the physical space over time. Depicted in the paintings are people who have lived in and known Big Momma’s house including her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His work is about remembering and memorializing Carpenter’s life and the people who have connections to the space. Alongside Sedrick’s paintings will stand his uniquely textured figurative sculptures crafted from newspaper pulp.
Letitia’s large-scale landscapes investigate places connected to Carpenter’s past. Big Momma moved from her hometown of Weimer, Texas to Fort Worth with her family sometime between the 1930 and 1940 census, but her children and grandchildren never returned to the places she was from. Letitia takes a journey, documenting spaces from Weimer to Waco along highway 77 and then from Waco to Fort Worth along interstate 35 and brings that ancestral memory back to Big Momma’s home. Printed on fabric and displayed in oval hoops, these photographs will also be embroidered with scarlet thread—a clear and direct biblical reference to birthright, bloodlines, and sacrifice. The thread will transcribe Big Momma’s words and in doing so imbue the work with her voice.
In conversation with Big Momma, the Huckabys explore the past and how it shapes the present and future. They point to the everlasting legacy of the matriarch of the family and how her spirit continues to reside in this space and with the people who knew her. Through this collaborative project, we hope to shed light on the history of the home and family and to continue Big Momma’s conviction that all are welcome.
ABOUT KINFOLK HOUSE
Kinfolk House is a collaborative project space that inhabits a 100-year-old historic home, where community and art converge in the predominantly Black and Latina/e/o neighborhood of Polytechnic in Fort Worth, Texas. Our goal is to uplift the beauty, talent, and culture in Polytechnic and feed its creativity by offering collaborative exhibitions, events, and educational opportunities of various disciplines. Through partnerships with community-minded creatives and project-based artists, we will build outside the preconceived ideas of “what art is,” exploring the intersections of life, cultural pursuits, and artistry.
Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby opened the doors of this historic space reimagined on the cornerstone of the creative power of Sedrick’s grandmother and original homeowner, Hallie Beatrice Carpenter, known to her friends and neighbors as “Big Momma.” Her legacy inspires our understanding that creative pursuits exist beyond high art and academia.
Kinfolk House is a space built upon our inherited cultural knowledge and the richness of the Black American tradition passed down across nations, oceans, and generations. We’re woven together through individual threads of history that convey our very identity, emanating from Big Momma’s legacy, to Letitia’s ancestral homeland of Greenwood, Louisiana, Dr. McAnthony’s dream of creating something in a historically marginalized neighborhood so great that people from all over are drawn to it, to the improvisational intuition and fluid orchestration of quilt-makers in Gee’s Bend, and the many other artists, activists, doers, and thinkers who inspire us.
The term kinfolk speaks to family ties forged by blood. At Kinfolk House, all who walk through the doors become a thread in our family. Our desire is that each connection will craft a human patchwork of creativity, power, and culture, ensuring the Kinfolk legacy lives on for generations to come.
ABOUT SEDRICK AND LETITIA HUCKABY
Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby are each prominent artists in their own right. Sedrick, a Fort Worth native, is a graduate of Texas Wesleyan University. He studied under Ron Tomlinson and Jack Barnett, later transferring to Boston University (BFA, 1997). And, received an MFA from Yale University — there, he immersed himself in the notion that “art is about ideas” and expanded his conceptual horizons in art and art history.
Sedrick has received numerous prestigious awards, including a Guggenheim award, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and a Lewis Comfort Tiffany Award. He was named the Texas State Artist for 2018 and was a finalist in the 2019 Outwin Boochever Competition Exhibition administered by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Currently, he’s represented by Philip Martin Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, and Talley Dunn Gallery in Dallas, TX.
Letitia Huckaby investigates the relationship between past and present and whether things have changed or remained the same. Her work is rooted in faith, family, and legacy — acting as a time capsule for the African-American experience. History is built into her work, both through process and physical materials. Letitia holds an MFA in Photography from the University of North Texas (2010), a BFA in Photography from the University of Boston at Lesley (2001), and a BA in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma at Norman (1994).
Letitia has exhibited at Phillips New York, the Tyler Museum of Art, The Studio School of Harlem, Renaissance Fine Art in Harlem curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., The McKenna Museum in New Orleans, the Camden Palace Hotel in Cork City, Ireland, and the Texas Biennial at Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum. Her work is included in several prestigious collections; the Library of Congress, the McNay Art Museum, the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, the Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, and the Samella Lewis Contemporary Art Collection at Scripps College in Claremont, California. Huckaby was a featured artist in MAP2020: The Further We Roll, The More We Gain at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, and State of the Art 2020 at The Momentary and Crystal Bridges Museum; both opened in the spring of 2020.
Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby have created a home in Fort Worth, Texas, and are the proud parents of Rising Sun, Halle Lujah, and Rhema Rain.