In Conversation: Solace & Sisterhood


In Conversation: Solace & Sisterhood

Tuesday, 7 May 2024, 5PM EDT (2200 UTC)
Presented in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington


“Solace and Sisterhood” at Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington brings together the work of three artists of African descent who are friends and “sisters.” Through their artwork, viewers are given an intimate look into their experiences and their sisterhood, which has developed over several years.

Sisterhood through the lens of the Black female experience is a deep and multifaceted relationship that challenges stereotypes and seeks to right wrongs. With the constant scrutiny of their choices and physical selves, and social opposition to their abilities and accomplishments, sisterhood for Black women becomes a necessity, a social enterprise, and a framework for survival. By digging deeply into historical and contemporary perspectives on African American life, exploring traditions in the African diasporic community, or remixing commonly known objects, these artists span media and aesthetics. They tackle topics of self-identity, Black female beauty, and spiritual discovery. They resist single affiliations and simple answers to difficult questions. All the while, they maintain deep bonds that now transcend friendship. They are now sisters.

At this Kolaj LIVE Online event, co-sponsored by MoCA Arlington, exhibition artists Lavett Ballard, Amber Robles-Gordon, and Evita Tezeno will be joined by curator Dr. Lauren Davidson for a discussion about collage made from the lives of Black female experience. exhibition. The conversation will focus on the three artists’ use of collage techniques throughout their work, from the incorporation of archival materials and handmade paper to the development of found object assemblage. Kolaj Institute’s Ric Kasini Kadour will facilitate the program. 

“Solace and Sisterhood” is on view at MoCA Arlington through 26 May 2024. 


Lavett Ballard holds a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Rutgers University and an MFA from the University of the Arts, Philadelphia and is an adjunct professor at Rowan College of South Jersey. Ballard’s work is in public and private collections, including the US Embassy in Kampala, Uganda, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University, Stockton University Art Collection and the collections of ABC Studios, CBS Studios, and NBC/Universal Studios. Ballard created two commissioned covers for Time Magazine: one in March 2020 for the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and a second in February 2023 to accompany Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s essay about her book CASTE: Origins of our Discontent. The artist lives and works in Willingboro, New Jersey and is represented by Gallery Myrtis in Baltimore.

Amber Robles-Gordon is an Afro-Latina interdisciplinary visual artist who holds an MFA from Howard University and a BS from Trinity College. She was a resident at the American Academy in Rome in 2019 and a semi-finalist for the Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize in 2022. Robles-Gordon’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the American University Museum (Washington, DC), Morton Fine Art (Washington, DC), Derek Eller Gallery (New York, New York), and the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), among other venues, and in group exhibitions across the United States and internationally. Originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, the artist lives and works in Washington, DC.

Dallas, Texas artist Evita Tezeno‘s work is included in the permanent collections of the Pérez Art Museum (Miami, Florida), the Dallas Museum of Art, African American Museum of Dallas, Figge Art Museum (Davenport, Iowa) Embassy of the Republic of Madagascar; and Pizzuti Collection (Columbus, Ohio) among many others. She is the recipient of a 2023 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and, in 2012, the Elizabeth Catlett Award for the New Power Generation. She is represented by Luis de Jesus Los Angeles.


Dr. Lauren Davidson is an independent art curator and founder of Museum Nectar Art Consultancy. Museum Nectar is a curatorial and art advisory service working primarily in the field of contemporary African American art with a focus on emerging and mid-career artists. Davidson uses this platform to investigate issues and initiate conversations about the Diasporic Black experience. Past exhibitions include the critically reviewed “The Ties That Bind” and “Zero Dollar Bill: The Prints of Imar Lyman” at International Art and Artists (IA&A) at Hillyer in Washington, D.C and “Bria Edwards: More Time in A Day” at Eaton DC.

About Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington

The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that enriches community life by connecting the public with contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, education programs, and an artists-in-residence program. Founded in 1974 by a group of contemporary artists, the museum is celebrating its 50th anniversary throughout 2024. Located at 3550 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, Virginia, the museum is open Wednesday-Sunday, Noon-5PM. The museum has free on-site parking, is easy to reach by metro and bus, and is accessible. There is no admission fee to visit. For more information about their exhibitions and programming, visit and @mocaarlington on Facebook and Instagram.


Kolaj LIVE Online is a series of virtual programs in the form of forums, panels, workshops, artist talks, studio visits, and other activities that allow people to come together, learn and talk about collage, and connect in real time to the collage community. Our goal is to bring the community together in a spirit of mutual support and fellowship. Kolaj LIVE Online manifests Kolaj Magazine and Kolaj Institute by bringing together artists, curators, and writers to share ideas that deepen our understanding of collage as a medium, a genre, a community, and a 21st century movement. Learn more at the SERIES WEBSITE.