The African American Cultural Center’s art exhibition featuring the work of Avery Bolden of Charlotte, North Carolina, “Black Girl Maverick,” has one more week in the second floor Art Gallery of Witherspoon Student Center. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday–Friday from 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
By definition, a “maverick” is a person who is unorthodox and independent-minded. For Avery Bolden, the name “maverick” has a very personal story associated with it that embodies transforming pain to purpose. In high school, Bolden was bullied and often called “bucktooth.” Specifically, she was referred to as a wild horse, which the bullies equated with the term “maverick.”
As painful as the bullying was, Bolden was able to transform her pain to align with her purpose. In digging deep into the origins of “maverick,” she found a connection to being unorthodox, free and independent. It became a full circle moment as she transformed a name that once hurt her to a name that, today, is her brand, her message and her journey.
The “Black Girl Maverick” art exhibition explores the various ways in which Black women have created home in a poetic and intergenerational way. The exhibit enables the NC State community to celebrate the creation and development of Black homes through a Black feminist perspective.
Bolden visited campus for the opening of the exhibition, where she engaged in conversation in many ways. The African American Cultural Center and Women’s Center co-hosted a lunch and learn to talk about what it means to step out of the realm of “Black Girl Magic,” and into the realm of “Black Girl Maverick.” The topic quickly turned into a critical conversation about what self-authorship means and looks like for women of color.
The space was dynamic in many ways. In addition to the lunch and learn, Bolden was a guest on the Fo’ Yo’ Soul podcast, where she engaged in critical conversation around imposter syndrome and her maverick moments and gave some words of inspiration to Black creators on campus. The Black Girl Maverick exhibition will stay up through Feb. 11, 2022.
To keep up with work of Avery Bolden or to purchase some of her work, feel free to connect with her on Instagram.
Isaiah Lucas is program coordinator in the African American Cultural Center.