When I left for D.C. last summer, I was under the assumption that I would be putting together a senior showcase with two other people when I got back. Jump to three months later and it turned out that I was the only one doing the senior showcase.
Here’s the thing, putting together a solo show with only 3 months was one of the most hectic and mind breaking things I have ever had to do in my life. Everything was literally on my shoulders and I called all the shots. So, not one to shy away I too charge and did my best to make a kick ass show. I was given the option to just make a sort of portfolio show, something that show’s my new work compared to what I use to make, but I wanted this show to actually mean something and to make an impact with viewers.
Redaction is a visual time line that touched on moments and figures in African American history that have been excluded from the mainstream narrative. The show focuses on some of the struggles that African Americans have faced, like police brutality or the loss of young lives. In highlighting these moments, I make a connection to the social anxiety felt today from the rise in racism, loss of representation, and my own struggle of continuing to fight for equality today.
Having only three months to create this entire show was one of the most hectic moments of my life. If you ask anyone that saw me this semester, they will tell you that I and my studio was a mess. Not only was I working on the show, but I was also trying to make sure that I did graduate on time (Spoiler alert, I graduated with honors). My style was evolving and I wanted to make a point with what I was doing. Besides paintings, I decided to expand my work to include prints for the Llangollen Grant that I’ve been working on, and my first every video art project. My school, as progressive as it is, still has a long ways to go. I know to many people there who don’t know the story of Emmitt Till or realize how similar events are today to what sparked the Civil Rights Movement. Redaction was my way of showing everyone what was happening.
In the end, everything went off with out a hitch. So many people actually came to see it, and all the reviews that I have gotten have been nothing but positive. I don’t know if the message got across to everyone but, at least I got it out there.