Sunday Service
Mixed Media

Sunday Service addresses Taylor’s personal connection to the Bible and church. She grew up in an African American, Southern Baptist church with conservative, traditional values. As she expanded her education on African American history and religion itself, she began to confront her beliefs and there arose a lot of questions. In this installation, the viewer is observing a domestic environment, most likely the scene of an elderly couple getting ready for church. The freshly pressed clothing on the ironing board represents the dedication to Christianity and the repetition of a Sunday ritual; attending Sunday service. After taking a closer look, the viewer is presented with Bible verses displayed on the ironing board.  

The Bible verses displayed on the ironing board are from a chapter that was used for hundreds of years to justify the mistreatment and enslavement of people of African descent. This story is called “The Curse of Ham.” The "Curse of Ham" is a biblical interpretation that has been historically misused to justify the mistreatment of people of color, particularly Africans. The story originates from the Book of Genesis in the Bible, where Noah curses his grandson Canaan, the son of Ham, after Ham sees Noah naked.

Some individuals, particularly during the era of slavery and colonialism, distorted this biblical narrative to claim that Ham's descendants were cursed with servitude, and they identified Africans as the descendants of Ham. This misinterpretation provided a supposed religious justification for the enslavement and mistreatment of African people.

Although this story has been said to have been misinterpreted, it still caused lifetimes of damage. Taylor states that although she understands that Christianity was forced upon her ancestors after their culture was stripped from them, she wonders why, in 2023, her family still practices this same religion without questioning it.

“Are we uneducated? Do we believe this was a part of God’s plan? Why am I judged for doubting my own religion? Why are African religions and spiritual practices portrayed as scary witchcraft? I have so many questions, yet the repetition of worshiping God and practicing these traditions without question continues throughout my family and many other African Americans in the South.”

Guessing Game
Mixed Media
Guessing Game focuses on literacy tests that were given to African Americans before being registered to vote during the Jim Crow era. Guessing Game combines the playfulness of an impossible guessing game to real and impossible literacy tests. This guessing game is a large jar full of gumballs that you would generally see at a birthday party or baby shower. The participant who can guess the number of gum balls closest to the actual amount wins a prize. Fun, right? Well in this case, the people who can guess the correct number of gumballs can vote. Guessing Game calls attention to the ridiculousness of literacy tests that were given to African Americans beginning with Jim Crow laws, which successfully restricted many African Americans from voting.

Familiar Funeral
Interactive performance

You may be familiar with seeing airbrushed “Rest In Peace” shirts amongst urban African American communities, if not, this is common in Black culture to pay respect to a fallen loved one.  Familiar Funeral is an interactive performance piece about African Americans being far too familiar with death. Instead of your typical RIP shirt, these performers wear words and phrases that make a statement about mourning and strength in the urban communities. These performers are just reenacting the poses for photos they would take at the funerals they are used to attending. The performers moved around the gallery space like a funeral visitation and interacted with the viewers by discussing their personal views on death, asking the audience members to casually take their photo and striking a pose with any viewers willing to be a part of the performance.

All together the statement reads:
“In our sanctuary, we are always mourning. This is the result of neglect.
Yet, our community is resilient. We build strength in loss. Reform is our protein.”
The performers can move around and pose differently, changing the perspective of the statement. For example, “We are always mourning. Yet, our community is resilient.”

In the exhibition, Sanctuary, Taylor Sanders uses Familiar Funeral as a time to acknowledge the violence and drug use in this city from a different perspective. By using African American culture and style in a mourning environment, her goal is to remind the viewers that death in low income neighborhoods is not just a statistic. These are real people and real families that attend these funerals.

“We Build Strength in Loss”

Empty Stomachs

Empty Stomachs II
Brown paper bags


Many students depend on school meals to eat breakfast and lunch, therefore during school breaks these students go without balanced meals. During the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, an innumerable amount of students were stuck at home hungry. The original Empty Stomachs installation was arranged in a West Louisville neighborhood. This specific neighborhood is considered a food desert.  The paper bags in the installation are empty and represent the many students going without balanced meals while living in a location where there aren’t any fresh produce grocery stores nearby. The bags also resemble urban architecture like low income/income based housing apartments. People of color are more likely to live in poverty, especially in urban settings like so, POC are often affected the most. This installation was created to spread awareness and is a call to action: How can we continue to fight child hunger? Can we build more grocery stores in places that need it?

Empty Stomachs II is a site-specific installation with the same goal of raising awarness about child hunger in low-income neigborhoods, only this installation brings the viewers thoughts about hunger into a domestic environment.

Stay Seated
Antique Wooden Desk Carved

Stay Seated is a wooden desk sculpture installation that directly references historical events like Brown vs. Board of Education, the “I AM A MAN” protest signs from the Civil Rights Movement and more contemporary, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The American school systems are still highly segregated, and many schools are still underfunded. New or any resources are often scarce and of course most of these schools are filled with people of color. While IDEA brought new opportunities for people with mental disabilities, it also became a dumping ground for African Americans. Black students have been miseducated and neglected in American school systems for decades but instead of tackling those issues, we over identify them with special needs. It has been 66 years since the Brown vs. Board trial and students of color are still treated less than their white counterparts. I AM A STUDENT.