In 1982, after a devastating car accident almost left Barbara Felix paralyzed, dance gradually became a major influence in her art making; she used it to live vicariously as a dancer in self-portraiture work. Today, dance has expanded to become a vehicle through which she explores the lives of others, particularly women of color.
“The Glorious Way She Moves – Black Venus” celebrates intergenerational Black women across the spectrum of the San Antonio community. Each portrait provides the viewer a glimpse of who each individual is, that simultaneously becomes part of the collective voice of Black women in our society.
The video stills of their movement capture the exuberance and confidence of each muse, banishes stereotypes about Black women, and spurs the viewer to feel the same emotional connection that happens when watching a dance performance. Through their poise and spirit, they pay homage to the legacy of generations of women who came before them. These portraits symbolically exemplify the self-esteem that Black women exude as they move through their lives and the world.
“Black women are the unsung heroines, often invisible in our society. As an artist of color, I strive to bring women into a magnified view that recognizes our magnificence as multifaceted human beings,” says Felix.
The collective array of pursuits and achievements of these Black women – Poet Laureate/Diva/Community Activist; Retired Tennis Champion/Teacher; Printmaker/Client Experience Rep; High School Senior/Aspiring Performing Artist; Financial Advisor/Art Patron/Curator; College Board Trustee; Retired Regional Fashion Merchandise Manager; Middle School Student/Future Veterinarian; Retired Information Technology Executive – embody the heart and soul of our continuing narrative. Their portraits engender a sense of hope for achieving the American promise of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.