SHESHEWAWA
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Scanned image from Paper Faces by Michael Grater, 1968

These children’s paper face masks are excerpts from one of the books by Michael Grater, entitled Paper Faces. While many of his masks had sinister qualities to them, each was accompanied by a simple step-by-step guide for children to create Read more…

Bill Traylor (1854 – 1949) was a self-taught artist born into slavery on a plantation in Alabama. After emancipation, his family continued to farm on the plantation until the 1930s. In 1939, at age eighty-five, he moved to Montgomery, where he slept in the back room of a funeral home and in a shoemaker's shop. During the day, he sat on the sidewalk and drew images of the people he saw on the street and remembered scenes from life on the farm, hanging his works on the fence behind him.

I love this image of a man missing a leg, talking animatedly with a crutch beneath one arm. I appreciate the power of the disabled man in the photo, as all attention is drawn to him and his gesturing. By Alabama artist Bill Traylor, a favorite of mine.