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Knocking on heaven's door

Self-taught painter and sculptor Missionary Mary Proctor shows us the way

Photo: P. Schreyer, License: N/A

P. Schreyer

Crealdé School of Art’s executive director Peter Schreyer, who curated the show with pieces from Proctor’s Tallahassee home-slash-museum, says: “I’m not an art historian, but I’m very interested in pop culture, [and] have known Mary’s work for over a decade … [it’s] a great honor to bring her work to a historic African-American heritage site.” Schreyer feels confident the large assemblage of Proctor’s work – between Proctor’s privately owned pieces and those loaned by the Mennello, they’ve collected more than 30 pieces, though he isn’t positive how many will be in the final gallery installation – will be very popular with visitors. “The big deal for me and the community is that Hannibal Square will be hosting a noted Southern artist,” Schreyer says.

You can hear Missionary Mary speak at 7 p.m. Friday at Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, and meet her at the adjacent Heritage Center between 8 and 9:30 p.m. Proctor will also lead a community workshop on Saturday for residents and Crealdé fellowship students to create collaborative pieces that will remain in the center’s collection. All events are free to the public, thanks to grants from Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs. The show runs through April 21, when it will be bookended by the third annual Hannibal Square Heritage Center Folk Art and Traditional Craft Festival, once again featuring the Florida Highwaymen and plenty of soul food.

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