Dolls, Idols, and Ideals
Dolls, Idols, and Ideals features Kimberly Camp and Emilio Maldonado, two Black artists investigating their identity, label, lineage, and how they create their own power while stranded in a “new world.” Camp and Maldonado artists use symbols - made or found - that reference their ancestry and spirituality. Rather than working from a notion of unchanging traditions, they engage with aesthetics and amalgamated cultural practices that have been adapted in order to survive. Each artist finds strength, magic, and power in these shapeshifting, resilient elements in full embrace and exploration of their individual and shared heritages.
Kimberly Camp’s paintings and dolls have been shown nationally at venues including at the American Craft Museum (New York, NY), the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC), the International Sculpture Center (Washington DC), University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI), the Hand Workshop (Richmond, VA), Sawtooth Center for the Visual Arts (Winston-Salem, NC), and Manchester Craftsmen's Guild (Pittsburgh, PA). She has received numerous awards, including two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, the Kellogg National Leadership Program Fellowship, the Smithsonian International Travel fellowship as Visiting Scholar for Tokyo Gedia University, and the Roger L. Stevens Award for Contributions to the Arts and Culture from Carnegie Mellon University. Camp received the 2020 Award of Excellence from the American Craft Council for her debut at their Baltimore show.
Camp, a native of Camden, NJ, pursued a dual career as founding director of the Smithsonian Institution Experimental Gallery, president and CEO of the Charles Wright Museum in Detroit, and president and CEO of The Barnes Foundation. Prior to semi-retirement, she led the creation of a science, technology, and natural history project, the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center in Washington State.
Camp has a penchant for storytelling and comedy based on historical and cultural artifacts. Combined with her dolls and paintings, her work celebrates our similarities as people and serves to broaden our understanding of what it means to be African American.
Emilio Maldonado is an Afro-Caribbean artist living in Philadelphia. He has developed a practice in the US as a gallery-museum preparator and consultant, an Adjunct Professor, and as an arts administrator. He is currently the Artist Relations Director for Mural Arts. Maldonado is a member of the artist-run gallery Tiger Strikes Asteroid and a co-founder of Philly Group Crit.
Through a multidisciplinary practice, he boards questions that live between the realm of the domestic and the social-contemporary, working through questions of culture, poverty, and trauma, with a very keen interest in how their interpretation comes to define narratives of the human condition.