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I consider myself to be an “artivist,” someone who combines art and activism. In the last five years, I believe, I have truly found my artivist voice.
My work is the intersection of Fine Art, Graphic Design, Law, Statistics and Human Rights. My work confronts the social issues of our time. Whether making art as a form of activism, criticism, instruction, or inspiration, I see my work as a response to challenging established thought and provoking change through public discourse. Some artists create art to bring about change, for example ending the war in Vietnam or combating the AIDS crisis. My work is in reaction to activism happening in the streets and online.
As an African American woman my connection to my art is personal and inescapable. My race gives me a unique perspective into social inequities. Black women have historically stood up during times of social polarization and I’m no different in response to the current environment in this country.
I am emulating W. E. B. DuBois, who put together a groundbreaking exhibit about African Americans for the 1900 World’s Fair in Paris. He used colorful charts, graphs and maps to help bring attention to the circumstances of the American negro at that time. Some of the charts he made explored the African American Census Indicators for the year 1900 for negro businesses, occupations, religion & families. My work brings attention to different race, gender and social inequalities which currently exist.
I explore larger societal issues such as gun violence and the opioid epidemic to name a few and to express these ideas through the creation of visual art. I have used “Title VII” and the “1994 crime bill” as content for my art. I will continue to research laws and other data that pertain to social inequities to educate and bring awareness of our laws and our rights as U.S. citizens.
As a universal language, the arts have always been an effective tool for addressing social issues. “Artivism” or activist art is a form of social protest that explores cultural and political concerns. However, it is much more than just an innovative tactic, Artivism involves an entire practice that attempts to inspire positive change in society.
Critical thinking is the cornerstone of an educated citizenry. Equally, important is the practice of extending empathy: valuing and validating viewpoints different from our own. In addition, inquiry is the training of curiosity for the sake of making discovery and stoking growth from within.
It is through statistics and data that help shape how people know the world. It is my hope that I will increase awareness of social inequality as it exists today, by offering my artwork as way to connect to
relevant data in a visually meaningful experience.
Through my artwork I’m demonstrating that we can have an impact on societal ills through Art.