Jameco Exchange

Jimmy’s Thrift is a thrift store located in New Davonhaime, a fictional town whose name borrows from a combination of the five most densely populated black cities in the United States: New Orleans, LA; Detroit, MI; Jackson, MS; Birmingham, AL; and Savannah, GA. Presenting a mix of found and artist-made objects, Jimmy’s Thrift of New Davonhaime explores how both objects and their memories make up the identity of a place. Places and people we have never known are often gleaned from postcards, stories, photographs and other physical ephemera that travel from one place to another. These physical manifestations inform a collection of an otherwise intangible past.

Temporarily re-located to Jamaica, Queens, Jimmy’s Thrift of New Davonhaime offers postcards, plaques, souvenir key chains, tapestries, records, books and a variety of painted items. Black Community Family Albums are based on a collection of photos from a collective past, as well as new photographs that represent contemporary ideas of Blackness lost in our relentlessly curated digital photo albums and social media profiles. Records contain recordings in response to the question, “When was the first time you realized you were Black?” The music accompanying these testimonials is by musician Makaya McCraven, whose genre-bending style pushes the boundaries of sound and rhythm. The traditional American Postcard format featuring New Davonhaime is given to visitors so that they may share a memory of their visit to New Davonhaime, then mailed back to the artist. These returned postcards generate an archive of memories that reflect on personal experience and sense of place. Visitors are encouraged to bring in photographs from their past to add, and share their stories. These new objects, memories and stories will be shared on site and folded into the current exhibition as well as future iterations of Jimmy’s Thrift, building a new archive of lived experience in the present moment.