"Wading Inward" Senior Capstone

Artist Statement

        As a woman of African American as well as Native American descent, I use my experiences as a woman of color living in America as inspiration for my art. I make acrylic and oil paintings that include black people as my muse and uses history and culture to help express my inner thoughts. My subjects typically have bold facial expressions, or calm expressions with vivid background. I am also inspired by daily life, music videos, and literature. I also find ways to incorporate different mediums into my work, such as watercolor, charcoal, pastels, and modeling paste. I continue to find ways to incorporate personal meanings behind every piece that I creates. I either paint people that I knows personally or myself, there is always a story behind each piece that I make. I also love speaking up about important issues within our community and nation through my art and capture ways that our collective history intertwines with the present day.

         For my Senior Capstone, I wanted my body of work to show the impact that water has had on Black American Culture. As an artist, I have been captivated by the complex relationship between water and Black culture. I relied on personal memories, experiences and even references from popular media. Water has played a vital role in shaping the history, identity, and traditions of Black people around the world.

         In many African cultures, water is seen as a symbol of life and purity. It is revered for its ability to cleanse the body and spirit, and is often used in religious and spiritual ceremonies. Water has also been used as a means of resistance, as seen in the transatlantic slave trade, where enslaved Africans were forced to cross the ocean in brutal conditions and even thrown overboard. Yet, despite the significant cultural contributions of Black communities to our relationship with water, there are also deep disparities in access to clean water and environmental justice. Black communities are disproportionately affected by water pollution and contamination, leading to serious health consequences.

        In my work, I aim to explore the multifaceted impact of water on Black culture, from its spiritual and cultural significance to its role in environmental justice. Through my art, I hope to spark conversations about the ways in which water shapes our lives and our communities, and to advocate for a more just and equitable future.