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The Journey of Black Artists in America

Kerry James Marshall School of Beauty, School of Culture, 2012 Acrylic on Canvas 107 7/8 × 157 7/8 in
Kerry James Marshall School of Beauty, School of Culture, 2012 Acrylic on Canvas 107 7/8 × 157 7/8 in

Over the last ten plus years, I have put in my 10,000 hours to better understand what drives artists to do what they do and how to create a school that teaches people to have fun and make compelling artwork. Along the way, I have also learned about the unique and challenging experiences that Black artists endured as our country evolved from segregation through today.

 

Last week I had a chance to watch the new HBO documentary titled: “Black Art in the Absence of Light”. The story is a profound one and HBO has done a really good job creating some context around the challenges that black artists have faced. Watch the trailer here.

 

I have personally seen a substantial shift in the way curators, collectors and museums are approaching the work made by Black artists and the documentary covers about two handfuls of artists who have developed tremendous momentum over the last ten years. It is essential that we continue to broaden our understanding of art and artists of all types…that is what culture is all about. Art allows us to embrace the story telling and the creative context that is unique to each of us.

 

Kerry James Marshall, Kara Walker, and Trenton Doyle Hancock are among my favorites, while many other Black artists have become widely celebrated as among the most important living artists today. This recognition is just beginning to pick up steam and I am excited to see where it goes.