Sabrina Nelson standing by a wall
Detroit artist Sabrina Nelson is behind “I Had a Prayin’ Grandmother,” an art exhibit at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center. Nelson said she wanted to honor the contributions of grandmothers in her family and others. (BridgeDetroit photo by Bryce Huffman)

They are the tapestry of family. The epitome of home. Grandmothers are the cornerstone and spirit of Black American society, evoking tradition, love, recipes and remedies.

Sabrina Nelson’s grandmothers took care of her from the kitchen, imparting wisdom passed down for generations and teaching her how to heal herself and pray.

“They remind us of the old ways so that we cannot disrespect them,” Nelson said, “and that we can also survive based on their stories.”

  • two women standing next to each other
  • man looking down at art piece
  • woman standing next to sewing machine
  • painting
  • art gallery
  • art piece
  • potrait
  • shirt
  • table with art pieces
  • table with art pieces
  • portrait
  • portrait
  • dress
  • portrait
  • portrait
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  • woman looking at book

The Detroit artist and grandmother of two is now paying tribute to her matriarchs and has invited a collection of others to do the same through the art exhibition “I Had a Prayin’ Grandmother.”

BridgeDetroit’s Bryce Huffman talked with Nelson about her inspiration and where you can see her works.

Bryce Huffman is a reporter for BridgeDetroit. He was formerly a reporter for Michigan Radio, and host of the podcast, Same Same Different.

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