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 Chandra Williams. Through an immersive installation designed to welcome and empower all visitors, Femmes Féroces will honor 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.

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

Carla Williams (b.1965) is a writer, editor, and photographer in New Orleans.

Lee Laa Ray Guillory

Lee Laa Ray Guillory is a New Orleans based interdisciplinary artist whose photographic work investigates intersectional identity and its relativity to power. Guillory’s immersive photo installations explore themes of death and mourning, colorism, and the inheritance of transgenerational trauma. Through the creation of sacred and healing spaces for people of feminine experience, Guillory is committed to the work of manifesting moments of healing via intimacy and spirituality.

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