In celebration of this month’s WNBA finals between the Minnesota Lynx and Los Angeles Sparks, Ashley Teamer shares a new digital artist project that explores family and fandom through a blend of collages, paintings, videos, and historical photographs.
In the ’90s, my grandmother Mary Teamer coached the Lady Blue Devils at Dillard University. When I was a kid, my entire family attended games. “Tootsee Roll” would regularly blast throughout that Gentilly gym while I played with Legos in the bleachers. Occasionally I looked up, when the crowd stood up, to see my grandmother finger-pointing and talking in the same voice she used when she wanted the grandchildren to stop running in her house.
A few months ago, almost 20 years later, I found photos of Mary in action on the court. These images miraculously surfaced after I had already taken a deep dive into the history of women’s basketball and the aesthetics of black female power. Little did I know, the images I was looking for were closer than I thought. I am not a basketball player myself, but the passion, teamwork, and superhero qualities in their world speak to the woman I want to become.
The Mary Teamer inside of me.
—Ashley Mary Teamer