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Artist connects to family through photos

Artist connects to family through photos


printer and artist Tyanna Buie isn’t just creative. She’s imaginative.

Buie grew up in foster care but said she always felt a strong connection to family.

Buie, assistant professor and section chair of printmaking at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, managed to forge relationships with relatives through reprints of rare family photographs.

Her new exhibition, “Imaginal Dialogues,” at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Fine Arts Gallery, runs through March 22.

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Her large screen prints explore how objects, people and distance affect one another.

“I just started to acquire some very rare family photographs,” Buie said. “I grew up in the foster care system, and our family home was burned down. We were shuffled around. My aunt had all the photos, and I was like, ‘I need these now that I’m older.’”

Buie said she’s attached to family she doesn’t know, including a grandmother she never met who appears on a screen print.

Buie, 34, said her exhibit is “accidentally” timely because it’s shown during Black History Month. She hopes people experience the lives of others in her prints.

“I hope that it sparks some time of dialogue within themselves or with one another,” Buie said.

“Looking at an old photo sparks all sorts of feelings we have from our personal own narratives. Looking at other people to reflect your life is interesting, which is why reality TV is still a hit.”


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