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Art Space sheds light on New England’s transatlantic slave trade

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A new exhibition at Art Space in downtown New Haven is shedding light on New England’s transatlantic slave trade.

Sarah Fritchey, curator and gallery director at Art Space said, “I think this is a history that people might not know about or if they do know about it, they might just sort of generally have an understanding of how New England has benefited from these histories.”

The exhibition is called In Plain Sight/Site. Art lovers say it’s powerful.

Salwa Abdussabur added, “They have a feeling to it. I think it’s really rare to see pieces where you are kind of having an emotional reaction to it. It’s like, ‘wow, there are so many different things.’ Everybody knows about bits and pieces of our past and history so it’s not hard to piece those together.”

Ten artists are featured. The exhibition focuses on the history of the slave economy.

Fritchey said, “The onion. If you go to Wethersfield, it’s on their welcome sign, it’s on the top letterhead of their stationary at the historical society and this was a food element that was traded throughout the West Indies to feed people that were enslaved working on the plantations.”

Related Content: Black History Month: A Waterbury slave’s bones

In a short amount of time, you can learn about New Haven’s history. 

Fritchey told News 8, “The experience of coming here isn’t reading in a text book it’s looking and connecting to what the artist voice is saying and also the materials and the images that the artists are using.”

Locals say In Plain Sight/Site is a must see. 

Lori Miller said, “I think it is so relevant with the times and a very important story to tell and just a powerful exhibition for people to come and see.”

Abdussabur added, “I think that art has this amazing ability to cross pollinate neighborhoods right now it’s a really important thing especially New Haven.”

Art Space is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. It’s free and open to the public. 

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