Marita Dingus

February 2023

the repopulation of mommy's house: the work and story of marita dingus

In 2022 a 4culture grant was awarded to Marita Dingus to create a book using Joan Beard's of Mommy's House, her studio. The book, Marita Dingus Mommy's House photographs by Joan Beard is in production and due out in March of 2024.

Here are a few photos from the project.


Writing that accompanied the the Traver Gallery Exhibit of Marita Dingus' work for Marita Dingus' exhibit at the traver Gallery on November 2020- January 2021.  

Marita Dingus’ work evokes the spiritual. Her work which is assembled of repurposed remnants of our culture are woven together to create figures. Each one suggests individual moments / senses. Collectively her pieces create a landscape of what and who will neither be ignored or forgotten.

The combination of her inscrutable painted faces supported by bodies built of discarded electrical wire, colorful single use plastic and shards of glass create bodies that are transparent, vulnerable and strong. Marita Dingus’ work is in stark contrast to figures made of stone and metal. The way in which they are joined suggests the objects were created out of a deep need bring disparate elements together to share their combined wisdom. The work embodies the connection between people and the material world around them.

The work reflects the Artists’ perspective as a Black Woman exploring a range of emotions that include Black people being joyful to expressions of the grief. Her stand ins are always autonomous, maintaining their sense of self beyond deep challenges. Her sculptures place us in a dialogue about the long-term historical scars in our culture. Collectively, we share our twin histories of black and indigenous lives being exploited and murdered, both hidden and in plain sight. The disregard of people is echoed in relationship to land and objects. Her reclaiming of people and “waste” inherently suggests a more connected and respectful path.

By making a record of what has always existed, joy and sorrow, her sculptures engage the viewer in the act of empathizing with distinct figures and witnessing a nondominant perspective. Her work occupies a spiritual space that invites us to visit and honor the ghosts of our history. In that realm, we can bear witness and step into our journey of wonder and repair.


copyright joan beard and marita dingus

Watch the video bellow for more of Marita Dingus's Work