"The Rest of History" featured overlooked stories of history at Virginia Beach museum

"The Rest of History" exhibit that recently closed at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach allowed artists to tell the stories of those who have been traditionally left out of textbooks.

Even though the show has closed, the artists' works can be viewed online and in other national museums.

Haitian-born multimedia artist Fabiola Jean-Louis celebrates the contributions of black and brown women with her series, "Rewriting History. " She sculpts gowns out of paper and then photographs women of color wearing them.

In an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times, Jean-Louis said that she wanted to do the series after observing Renaissance paintings of women wearing gowns but never saw black women in the portraits.

In a video interview on her website, she said, "That was something that stood out to me quickly."

New York-based artist Andrea Geyer's work "Constellations" focuses on women and their life stories. Her photographs celebrate women who helped shape the art and cultural landscape of today. Geyer cut-up photos of these women into prism-like patterns and then rearranged them. By cutting the photos up she is telling the story of how these women were lost to history.

MOCA curator, Heather Hakimzadeh, helped coordinate the exhibition with Alison Byrne, MOCA's director of exhibitions.

"We were talking about how exciting it was that so many artists are changing the narrative of what's happening in history,"
Hakimzadeh said.

She said visitors seemed to appreciate the exhibition.

"I have had a couple of visitors stop and thank me, and tell me how much the exhibition has meant to them," she said.

"I hope that people try to understand that the narrative of history can change. And I hope that people leave the exhibition understanding that they themselves can change history."