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Most of us are so busy moving that the concept of sitting is one that often eludes us. But in order to create, one must take the necessary time to simply sit, contemplate, envision, dream, and let the universe speak to you.

It is said that Lorraine Hansberry wrote her most noted play, A Raisin in the Sun, between her 26th & 27th birthdays. A young woman from the South Side of Chicago, Hansberry must have taken the time to sit and imagine how to give voice to working-class people. The central theme in Raisin… reminds us that sometimes dreams are delayed but that is no reason not to keep dreaming.

Sculptor artist Alison Saar, who focuses a lot of her work on giving power to the Black female body, creates works that sit in your head. They cause you to wonder how she arrived at certain concepts, and the finished works have lasting impacts on your views. Saar, the daughter of noted artist Betye Saar, sculpted To Sit A While which features the figure of Lorraine Hansberry surrounded by five bronze chairs, each representing a different aspect of her life and work. The life-size chairs are an invitation to the public to sit and just think.

To Sit A While arrived at ARTE NOIR recently for a limited stop on a national tour. Part of The Lorraine Hansberry Initiative, the installation was unveiled last June at Times Square in New York and will continue on a national tour, having come to us from the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco, and moving from Seattle to Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Chicago.

It is a great honor for ARTE NOIR to have been selected as the only Seattle/PNW location, thanks to our partnership with The Hansberry Project and their partnership with The Lorraine Hansberry Initiative. This is a very limited and exclusive opportunity for Seattle, and we extend an invitation to our community to come and sit a while.

Installed at ARTE NOIR, 2301 East Union, Suite H, now through June 3rd during hours of operation, Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 6 PM.

And be sure to join us on the sculpture's last day in our space, Saturday, June 3rd for two special events in collaboration with The Hansberry Project, a young writers workshop and a reading of To Be Young, Gifted and Black. Check out our EVENTS page for all the details and to RSVP.

Don’t get up. Just sit a while and think. Never be afraid to sit a while and think.

- Asagai to Beneatha, Act III. Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun. With an introduction by Robert Nemiroff. NY: Vintage, 2004.


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