Joan Dance: Joan Dance’s work reflects many themes from her African American heritage and history. The bold colors and basic shapes on her canvasses tell stories. She is a self-taught artist who has a pared-down style that is sophisticated; it is developed with an intuitive eye. A topic of particular interest to her is the lives of women, particularly the work that women have traditionally done in order to sustain their families and their communities. She focuses on the friendships between women and the importance of friendship in their lives.
“I thought if I didn’t paint, I would die” she says when describing the flowering of her art. This statement reflects the passion of someone who didn’t start painting until later in life. But Dance has developed a trademark humor that comes out in paintings such as “Waiting to Exhale” and “Quilters.” There is great joy and warmth between the women in these pictures and Dance is proud of the way she documents women’s lives.
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