How has African-American art impacted our culture?
African-American art appears to engage viewers on a social, and spiritual level . The residual impact that I have observed has been based on the intimate connection between the viewer and their life experiences. As a result of 400 years of slavery that was endured ,art created by African-Americans may be seen as a passionate protest . Our art figuratively and literally (James Baldwin) depicts the dark and grim history of the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Movement . Our work also evokes feelings of painful loss, and resilience. I have observed patrons moved to tears by my sculptures depicting African-American women , who picked unlimited bails of cotton , nursed them and then their biological children. I have seen patrons connecting with the soul stirring message they feel that my sculptures of blues figures convey. Equally important, the uplifting spirit that my church ladies elicit seems undeniable as well. We are connected to our history through art. Black artists are able to instill a positive self image through art.
What advice would you give someone who seeks to work as an artist professionally?
I would advise an artist to be true to themselves. I would advise an artist to have thick skin. That is to listen cautiously and distinguish constructive criticism from uneducated and inexperienced commentators. Where would you love for your work to be exhibited and why?
I would love to see my work exhibited at other premier museums like The Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum, northwest African American Museum of Art Dusable Black History Museum. There appears to be a minimalist representation of African American art in some of the museums that I listed. Clay artist are also Under represented in most of the museums. I have worked painstakingly to create , undeniable, highly detailed, soul stirring, mostly one of a kind art that communicates with your soul, and challenges your notion of what can be achieved with clay.
What has been your most proud moment as an artist and why?
My most proud moment as an artist occurred when my father attended one of my shows and acknowledged that he accepted the profession that I was chosen to pursue. He came from a working class family and was very concerned about me pursuing art as a career path initially.
What defines a true art collector?
A true collector finds joy and beauty in the design created by the artist. They appear to engage in having ownership of work that speaks to their life experiences ,work that is cutting edge, escapes the ordinary, and especially one of a kind. What can we expect from you in 2024? I plan to create a traveling exhibition of sculptures that depicts the cautionary tale of what happens when we continue to follow the blueprint that Is seemingly leading to the rapidly approaching extinction of black youth. I will create sculptures that reflect that by participating in gun violence a dangerous, unacceptable amount of youth are becoming dead street soldiers instead of merely listening to Tupac's "Ballad of the Dead Soulja ". I will further show that financial ,educational and lack of access to healthy food disparities impact success. I will further share possible solutions to this crisis. After all "understanding comes from communication."