What is The Hand Book? It is a collection of photographic stories from Ghana and the African Diaspora of hands working, playing and creating. With these stories, Susan invites young readers and cultural explorers to think about the beauty and power of our hands to express love and labor and to hold memory.
What was the inspiration for The Hand Book? The book was assembled between 2014-2015 while Susan was teaching and doing research at the University of Ghana. But before living in Ghana, she had a fascination with hands. Writing about her grandmother she says:
I recall the touch of my maternal grandmother’s skin, soft from washing dishes but not delicate. Her hands were in service everyday, feeding, repairing, cleaning, and holding her grandchildren. They were as nimble from sewing a finely-detailed wedding dress, as they were strong from kneading dough for her famous Parker House rolls. In my Mama’s hands was an autobiography of love, loss, labor.
Drawn to the texture, tone and movements of hands, Susan focused her lens on them instead of the more obvious image. And because Ghanaian culture places great value on interpersonal exchanges, Susan used these conversations to write the text for the photographs.
Why are the photographs black & white? By printing the photographs in black and white, greater focus is given to the subject matter. It also encourages viewers to challenge their expectations of Africa’s cliché “vibrant” imagery.
Who is The Hand Book for? As an artist and educator, Susan wanted to gather visual stories that convey African/African Diasporan culture and inspire reflection on the ties that bind us as human beings. The Hand Book is meant to spark discussion, writing and exploration. Families can read it together, teachers can use in their classrooms, and people curious about the world can learn something about Ghana and the African Diaspora.
An April 28, 2017, MansaWear was one of the 8 artists invited by the Memorial Art Gallery (MAG) of Rochester to present their artwork during its annual gala … An Artist Affair.
Each artist displayed their work on large banquet-style tables and provided diners an option to bid on the original artwork displayed. MansaWear featured table runners and unveiled 3 of its 2017/18 lineup on 2-foot dress forms, which also served as center pieces for the banquet tables. Diners were invited to bid on the sample outfits.
Each sample outfit represented on the table was a replica of an impeccable tailor-made outfit that would be specifically made for the bidder at her convenience. Since MansaWear is all about customization and mashups, you will have options to personalize the design such as changing the neckline, sleeves or even the print as it’s your style, your fashion statement.
MansaWear’s Cheo-Ana jacket was worn by Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez, recipient of the 2017 Woerner Kollmorgen Community Service Award on Thursday, April 27th at Nazareth College. It was such an honor to see to Nydia greeting her guest in a MansaWear design, but the zenith of my gratitude was when she informed the audience where she purchased the jacket and acknowledged me in the crowd by making me stand up.
Thank you, thank you …. No wonder you are the 10th recipient of this distinguished award. Here’s to Nydia: a friend, an educator, a mentor, owner and artistic director of Borinquen Dance Theater, dance instructor to Mansa and MansaWear devotee. I’m so blessed to count you as a friend.
Photos taken by Greg Francis Photography.
Mother Nature has been teasing us about spring all winter long. But Spring has arrived with a thud and with it the advent of green beer, candy, cookies and all things viridescent. St. Patrick’s Day is here….do you have your green on yet? If not, stop by MansaWear to pick your green bracelet, skirt, top or several lovely dresses we have ready to go. Don’t get green with envy, get EVEN. #mansawear #custommade #handmadejewelry #woodinfabrics #woodinGhana
MansaWear boutique is now open 12 – 2:00 PM for easy holiday shopping! Exciting accessories await you as well as the gift everyone loves receiving — MansaWear gift cards that never expire. We’re still open on Saturdays & Sundays.
Coming straight from Fashion Week’s “Fashion on the Edge” to Temple B’rith Kodesh’s Fine Arts Show on Sunday, November 6th, from 9AM – 5PM. Stop by and check out all the #styles we previewed on the runway. Plus, get a start on your holiday shopping – accessories, hand-made jewelry and much more. Dazzled by the plethora of choice, you can always get a #giftcard #mansawearstyle #woodinfabrics #tellyourfriends and family. It’s a free event!
Go back to school in style by transitioning your summer look seamlessly to a fall one with your MansaWear bicycle skirt or top. It’s easy to revamp your wardrobe by mashing up sweaters, blouses and halters already in your wardrobe with a one or two MansaWear pieces. Go ahead, try it, it’s easy. #bicycle#skirt #summerlook #bicycle#skirt #falllook #backtoschool #style#fashiondiaries #fashionicon #fashionista.
Park Ave Festival is almost here and so is #MansaWear. Stop in and shop accessories, skirts, tops and dresses! Cool and chic, that’s how your summer style would be with our
Cool and chic, that’s how your summer style would be with our smock skirts, Alfie necklaces, button purses, Afia quilted handbags and purse, Toma bracelets, hand-knitted jewelry and much more. Don’t see what you are looking for? Just place your custom-made order. Turnaround time is only 28 days.
MansaWear is once again participating in Trillium Health’s “Turn the Avenue White for a Night” on Thursday, May 5th from 6:00 -8:00 PM.
Participating Park Avenue Merchants not only decorate their stores in white, but a portion of all sales made during that period are donated to Trillium Health to support its HIV/AIDS and other health initiatives. Dress in your whites,come celebrate spring on the Avenue and shop for a good cause. Look for the white balloons! Can’t wait to see you.