Date of Award
M.F.A. in Art
Art and Art History
Abstract: "an America that looks away is ignoring not just the sins of the past but the sins of the present and the certain sins of the future." Ta-Nehisi Coates my work deals with the ideas of blackness and southern culture. Born in Memphis, Tennessee on the heels of the civil rights movement, I cannot help but to be shaped by the aftermath of integration and the ideals of equality. The south is more than a geographical location; it is a cultural distinction. My life has been shaped by these cultural experiences. Inspired by family stories, my art references a lingering past and also reflects my life experiences as a black man living in the south. In Mississippi I had the opportunity to see the fields of cotton reminiscent of the stories my family often told when I was young. My granddad told of how they loaded wagons to chop cotton in the spring and pick cotton in the fall. The values of a person were based on faith, family, and work. Those ideals were constantly challenged by Jim Crow and made it difficult for blacks to realize the American dream. I feel compelled to create art that challenges socially accepted "truths" versus fallacy. I confront contemporary social issues influenced by its legacy of white supremacy. We still inhabit a world intolerant of the unique cultural differences we all share.
Lynn, Terry Rodnell, "Beyond The Fields" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 998.