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Yeabsera Tabb-Tezeta

April 7 @ 6:00 pm - May 21 @ 3:00 pm

“This body of work is an exploration of the physical and figurative aspects of “place.” On one hand, the word “place” refers to our built environment, choices of design, and our interactions with the physical world. On the other, it refers to a sense of belonging that is cultural and emotional–still deeply tied to the physical world, but able to exist without it through memory. I invite the viewer to step into the threshold separating ‘here and now’ from ‘then and there’. Blurring the lines between 2D and 3D, I use printmaking and textiles to study the significance of physical places and the memories attached to them.
Physical spaces such as markets, homes, and schools are where most of our memories are made, and the physicality of a space is significant in shaping our upbringing. From noise to texture to color and architecture, my upbringing in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, influences me as a person and as an artist. The influence of Ethiopian textiles shows up through my use of textures, colors, and marks.
By acknowledging the importance of place in shaping our identity, I explore what happens when we are separated from our places by distance and time. When I came to the U.S. from Ethiopia as a teenager, I found myself existing in a liminal space. I longed for the outdoor markets and casual coffee gatherings, for kids kicking soccer balls on narrow streets. This was my sense of place rested and suddenly it was nowhere to be found. I had to completely reframe my understanding of place.”
About the Artist
Yeabsera Tabb is an interdisciplinary visual artist with a focus in printmaking and textiles. Her work explores the intersectionalities and liminal space contained within one’s personal identity. Tabb was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia and came to America at the age of 13. Her work addresses her lived experience inhabiting multiple identities both as a Black woman in America and as an immigrant. During her time as a Design for Social Impact student, Yeabsera conducted a year-long research project on the experiences of Black women in America, particularly, Black women navigating predominantly white spaces. She transformed this collection of qualitative data into her show Black Presence to create safe spaces of healing and joy for Black women. Black Presence was on display at 1920 Gallery in Marion, Indiana, and 1000 Words Indy in Indianapolis.
As an artist, Tabb often struggles to reconcile her pain, bewilderment, and anger with societal expectations to create beauty. As if portraying these emotions through beauty robs them of their gravity. However, acknowledging pain, anger, joy, and resistance, her work exists in a complicated middle ground, invoking the recognition and appreciation of disparate feelings and experiences.
This exhibit is made possible by The Ruth Foundation for the Arts, The Arts Council of Indianapolis, The City of Indianapolis and Allen Whitehill Clowes Foundation.
April 7-May 21
Main Gallery
Wednesday -Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tube is also open until 10 p.m. each First Friday.
Closed Holidays


April 7 @ 6:00 pm
May 21 @ 3:00 pm