You may recognize Carol Christine Hilaria "C. C. H." Pounder from her numerous film and television roles. The Guyanese American actress, who currently plays Dr. Loretta Wade on CBS' "NCIS: New Orleans," recently launched a new art exhibit called "Queen," exploring black female beauty and power. Showcased at Xavier University Art Gallery, the exhibit features works from Pounder's private collection.
"I'm a collector of what I call functional art — you go up and look at a piece, and you have a visceral reaction," Pounder said in an interview with NOLA.com. "You can't explain it. It's a function that's very important to me. I'm not interested in just collecting a piece because an artist is important or a work is important. That doesn't interest me at all."
Working with Xavier's gallery director Sarah Clunis, and art collection manager, Daniele S. Gair, Pounder selected pieces from her collection that focused on black women with specific focus on feminine beauty, identity and power. "It opens up a conversation about art and women," Clunis said of the "Queen" exhibit. "For black women to be able to enter a museum and have a conversation about fine art and to be able to see themselves in it, that's important."
Included in the "Queen" exhibit, centered around the Rosales' painting, "Birth of Oshun," are works by Betye and Alison Saar, Kehinde Wiley, Mickalene Thomas, Robert Pruitt and Xavier alumnus Steve Prince. Pounder, a graduate and holder of an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Ithaca College, also included her own created pieces in the exhibit. "I love watching people walk through here and see what catches them." Pounder said.
The exhibit is open to the public, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, free of charge, and will be on display through Feb. 26.