Alison Saar’s exhibition titled, “BREACH” is the culmination of her creative research into American rivers and their historical relationship to the lives of African Americans.

The Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 piqued Ms. Saar’s interest. Described as one of the worst natural river disasters in U.S. history, many months of heavy rains resulted in the river breaching levees in the spring of 1927. Though few now know about this historic catastrophe the flood had a profound impact on the life of African Americans living in the Mississippi Delta and brought long-term social, cultural, federal policy, and political changes to the U.S.

Alison Saar is an artist and historian who explores issues of gender, race, racism, and the African diaspora. She mines mythology, ritual, history, music, and her biracial heritage as sources for her work.

Saar was chosen as the 2016-17 Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Artist in Residence.

Alison Saar’s lecture was supported by the David L., Sr. and Helen J. Temple Lecture Series (African Studies), and the Richard A. and Rissa W. Grossman Visiting Artist Series (department of Art). Additional support for her residency and exhibition was provided by an arts infusion grant made possible by generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Lafayette’s Experimental Printmaking Institute (EPI), the Lafayette Art Galleries, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.