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Hana Ward on Clementine Hunter

“If the President wants to visit, he can come here.”

Folk artist CLEMENTINE HUNTER started painting at 50 and never stopped, creating spirited, primitive, vivid images detailing daily life on the southern plantation where she lived most of her days. Clementine painted on anything and everything including the walls of her home, boards, tools, metal -- she could not be contained. Her enormous spirit and lack of pretense inspire artist Hana Ward who tells the story of this incredible talent.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.

Storyteller

Hana Ward

Hana Ward is a painter, ceramicist, and the Communications and Marketing Director at the Women’s Center for Creative Work. Her paintings often touch on themes of liberation, memory, history and diaspora. Through her landscape paintings, Hana documents focal, yet disappearing parts of her native city while her graphic portraits pay praise to unsung heroes of our collective legacy. Speaking about her creative practice, Hana writes, “In the past there have been so many forces preventing women from having a creative practice. Maintaining it is definitely an act of resistance.” Hana received the Department of Cultural Affairs artist grant through which she offered the free workshop The Healing Component of Clay to women of color in South LA. At the Women’s Center for Creative Work, Hana works with a team to platform the work of historically underrepresented women and non-binary artists, redistribute resources, and publish and circulate feminist text. Through all of her creative outlets Hana aims to liberate and inspire.

Featured Woman

Clementine Hunter

Clementine Hunter was a self-taught African-American folk artist who lived and worked on the Melrose Plantation in Louisiana. She was a laborer who never learned to read or write, but in her 50’s she began painting, depicting the people and places she knew. By the end of her life, over fifty years later, her work was being exhibited in museums. Clementine produced an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 paintings in her lifetime.