Tuesday, June 2, 2020 to Sunday, June 14, 2020

Opening Reception


Join us for the CAC's season opening reception, featuring five new exhibition openings! Learn more

Opening Date & Time:
Saturday, November 2, 2019 -
5:30pm to 9:00pm


Supported by

UPDATE:  In Solidarity with Protests, CAC Donates $10,000 to Local, Black-led Organizations Fighting to End Mass Incarceration, Extends Complimentary Admissions to All Through June 14. Read the announcement

Due to COVID-19 this exhibition is no longer accessible at the CAC and will not be part of our limited opening due to the small size of the gallery and inability to practice social distancing. We invite you to explore this exhibition's Digital Gallery and download our accompanying Gallery Guide, below.

Download Gallery Guide


A collaborative pop-up between Material Life and Mickalene Thomas, Femmes Féroces celebrates the creativity and originality of our collective community of femmes noires—who, borrowing from the 100 Black Females Project, we define as “…all who express and identify themselves as a woman, girl, femme, female, trans, queen on any day or all days,” according to Carla Williams.

Through an immersive installation designed to welcome and empower all visitors, Femmes Féroces honors a group of pioneering women in film, fashion, music, performance, and activism who inspire us with their fierce beauty and tenacious fearlessness in forging remarkable careers and enduring legacies. Realized in collaboration with Mickalene Thomas through a creative partnership between Carla Williams, founder and owner of local retail concept shop Material Life, and New Orleans-based artist Lee Laa Ray Guillory, Femmes Féroces celebrates black women creatives in every aspect.

Artists featured in this exhibition include:

  • Marianna Shepphard (New Orleans)
  • Lee Laa Ray Guillory (New Orleans, b. Lake Charles, LA)
  • Lola Ogbara (Chicago, IL)
  • Keysha Rivera (New Orleans, b. Puerto Rico)
  • Marcia Michael (London, England)
  • Tarilayefa Nanakumo

Learn more about these artists and their work at www.material.life/femmes-feroces

Femmes Féroces is designed to feel like an untraditional space—more lounge than gallery. Conceived as a dynamic, interactive space, visitors are encouraged to sit and listen to a musical playlist curated by Chipo Kandake, assemble puzzles, play dominoes, chess, and other communal games, watch videos, and have conversations. Decor was sourced from the IKEA OVERALLT collection, which features African designers. Pieces rotating throughout the installation include designs by:

  • Issa Diabaté (Ivory Coast)
  • Bibi Seck (Senegal)
  • Selly Raby Kane (Senegal)
  • Reform Studio (Egypt)
  • Studio Propolis (Kenya)

This exhibition is organized by the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), New Orleans, and curated by Andrea Andersson, PhD, The Helis Foundation Chief Curator of Visual Arts at the CAC. The exhibition is supported by The Helis Foundation and Sydney & Walda Besthoff. Additional funding is provided by the Visual Arts Exhibition Fund with generous contributions from The Azby Fund, Bryan Bailey, Valerie Besthoff, Walda & Sydney Besthoff, The Domain Companies, Anna & Scott Dunbar, Kendall Winingder and Patrick Schindler, Aimée & Mike Siegel, and anonymous donors. This exhibition is also supported in part by a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans as well as by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal agency.

Carla Williams

Lee Laa Ray Guillory

Press Release

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