The Florence Regional Arts Alliance is pleased to introduce a new exhibition to the Florence County Museum’s Waters Gallery June 27 – September 30.

The exhibition will feature the work of Ms. Ilasahai Prouty and includes an opening in the Waters Gallery Sunday afternoon June 26, at 4pm. All are invited to explore the work and meet the artist. The Waters Gallery is located at 135 South Dargan Street in downtown Florence.

This exhibition titled, A Social Construction, offers the possibility of reclaiming and redefining the language we use to construct the categories of race.It includes the Paper Bag Test, an interactive installation that invites the public to define and reclaim skin tones and color as associated with race.

Historically, the paper bag test was said to have been used to separate black people into two categories – those lighter than a paper bag, and those darker. Access to parties and clubs was assigned based on this criteria. The artist remembers thinking, “Which paper bag are we using?” when she first heard about the test.

The artist’s goals are to engage people in thinking about how we use words to describe, imply and evaluate race, to ask them to reflect on how they see their own skin tone and the skin tones of others, and to present race as a social, as opposed to scientific, construction. “I want to add back the nuance and discovery that comes when we truly try to understand and know one another.”

For those wishing to learn more, an in-depth Q& A session will take place Monday, June 27th at noon in the Waters Building during a Lunch & Learn. The cost for lunch is $10. Tickets may be purchased at or by calling 843-407-3092.

This exhibition is part of a solo-exhibition award the Florence Regional Arts Alliance in presented to a participating ArtFields® artist this year in collaboration with the Florence County Museum. The support of Florence Downtown and Diversity Works Magazine makes this exhibit possible.

The Florence County Museum Waters Gallery is open Monday through Friday 10am – 5pm.