Angela Hennessy is an Oakland-based interdisciplinary artist and Associate Professor at California College of the Arts, where she teaches courses on visual and cultural narratives of death and contemporary textile theory. Through writing, studio work, and performance her practice examines mythologies of blackness embedded in linguistic metaphors of color and cloth.
Her current project, The School of the Dead, is a program for the decolonization of death and grief through the radical inquiry of aesthetic and social practices that mediate the boundary between the living and the dead.
She leads workshops and lectures nationally. Recent bay area talks and performances include The School of the Dead at CTRL+SHIFT Artists Collective; You’re Going to Die’s When They Died; IDEO’s Reimagine End of Life; Disclose Silence: We See Violence; Dead Black at Nook Gallery.
Her article, From the Morgue to the Museum, on death and textiles in the work of Teresa Margolles was published in Surface Design Journal and was the subject of conference lectures at Death, Art, and Anatomy in England and Death:OK in Oregon. Last fall she presented her paper Skin Deep: Josephine Baker at the Textile Society of America Symposium in Savannah, Georgia.
She has exhibited at the Bellevue Arts Museum, Exit Art, Ampersand International Arts, Pro Arts Gallery, Southern Exposure, The Richmond Art Center, The Small Gallery, and The Oakland Museum of California. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Cornell Fine Arts Museum and was featured in the Journal of Cloth and Culture and In The Make: Studio Visits with Artists.
Angela volunteers with hospice and works with families on home funerals, death vigils, and grief rituals. She is certified in the Grief Recovery Method and has trained with Final Passages and the International End of Life Doula Association.