Lane Hall Gallery

color photo of a visitor looking at a framed photograph on the wall

The Institute for Research on Women and Gender and the Women’s Studies Department present a regular schedule of art exhibitions in Lane Hall’s lobby, an intimate space, conducive to seeing, reflection, and study.

Exhibitions feature works in a variety of media, by artists from near and far who are united in their exploration of topical issues and themes that hold meaning for the study of women and gender.

Have an idea for a future exhibit? Read about the exhibit nomination process here (PDF).

The Lane Hall Gallery is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

2018-19 Exhibits

group photo of 8 Black women wearing white dresses and large, white woolen head masksshe was here, once
nastassja e. swift
January 9 - August 2, 2019

Opening reception Monday, February 25
4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

The mobility and displacement of the Black body, from port to holding cell, to ward and out, is a history that is embedded in our communities socially, culturally and geographically. Alluding to feelings of pain, otherness, power and triumph, she was here, once features work that illustrates a moment of remembrance and reflection on the women who have roamed these spaces before us. Consisting of wearable fiber sculptures, mixed media installation and film, the exhibition traces the ancestral footsteps of the Black woman in Richmond, Virginia. Nastassja creates an immersive environment shaped from history, story and experience.

project background: 

In summer 2018, Nastassja Swift organized a collaborative workshop and public performance in her home city of Richmond, Virginia. As a Black female artist working and learning within what was once the center of slave trading in the region, Nastassja sought to explore the journey of the Black female in this area, and how that journey has contributed to the stories and history of Black girlhood in the city. 

Using a range of choreographed movement, sound, and solidarity, eight Black women and girls, wearing large needle felted wool masks, traced the ancestral footprints of the arrival of the Black body in Richmond. The 3.5 mile walk began in Shockoe Bottom (the site of the importation of slaves into Richmond, and one of the largest sources of slave trade in America) and concluded in the Jackson Ward neighborhood (one of the largest Black communities in Richmond).

The multi layered piece has produced a short film, mini documentary (view here), photography, and performance masks, on display in her solo exhibition, she was here, once in Lane Hall.

about the artist:

Nastassja Swift is a Virginia artist holding a Bachelors degree of Fine Art from Virginia Commonwealth University with a major in Painting & Printmaking and a minor in Craft & Material Studies. She is the owner and artist of D for Dolls, an online collection of handmade needle felted figures. Outside of being a doll maker, she works with paint, print, performance and fiber within her studio practice. Nastassja’s work is currently on display in a group exhibition at The Colored Girls Museum, and her solo exhibition at Harmony Hall Arts Center.  She has participated in several national and international residences and exhibitions, including her solo exhibit in Doha, Qatar, and fellowships at the Vermont Studio Center and MASS MoCA.

video trailer:

Nastassja E. Swift's "Remembering Her Homecoming" is a collaborative project that analyzes the history of the black female body in Richmond, and navigates the stories and identities of the women before us, the stories of the present, and how they affect our tomorrows. Through a communal workshop and collaborative public performance, Nastassja engaged black female residents of varying ages, within Richmond communities, in a project infused with dance, sound and visual narrative that took place in Shockoe Bottom and Jackson Ward. Eight women and girls, dressed in white garments, wore a large, needle felted white wool mask and traveled by foot from the Trail of Enslaved Africans, and ended on Leigh Street in the Jackson Ward neighborhood. The project has produced a mini documentary and short film. Both films are on display in the University of Michigan's Lane Hall Gallery until August 2, 2019.

Trailer : Remembering Her Homecoming from Nastassja Swift on Vimeo.

Past Exhibits

Maya Healers: A Thousand Dreams
Photography exhibit by Fran Antmann
September 4 - December 7, 2018

Labors of Love and Loss
Mixed media exhibit by Marianetta Porter & Lisa Olson
January 29 - July 13, 2018

Chicana Fotos
An exhibit of Chicana photography documenting the 1970s by Nancy de los Santos
October 6 - December 13, 2017

Moving Through the Centuries: The Empowerment of U-M Women Through Physical Activity
historical photography & archive exhibition
January 12 - June 30, 2017

Swallowed Whole: A Visual Journey Through Traumatic Injury and Recovery
Works by Heidi Kumao
photography & video exhibition
September 1 - December 20, 2016

Above Ground - 40 Moments of Transformation
photography exhibition of Young Feminist Activism in China
January 26 - July 1, 2016

Stories of Mothers Lost
The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
August 10 - December 11, 2015