Artist Statement-Emily Garcia, Student VVC
I've used this opportunity to express my creativity with art and made this piece to give awareness of the national issues we are facing involving police brutality and the BLM movements in America. Especially given the circumstances that have transpired this year, I want my piece to show a message of what the African American community goes through and still having to face within the eyes of those who don't want to stand by and use their voices for justice and change.
Artist Statement - Mina Ogawa, Student VVC
Art is a language beyond language, that I can share invisible feelings and ideas. I believe everyone is born as a blank sheet of paper, to color their own life and oneself. In this drawing, I wanted to represent a moment when someone is deeply impressed. The world is a palette full of colors. Every encounter and discovery, whether expected or unexpected, makes our life colorful. Any encounter is special and wonderful. It lets us learn, gives confidence, and makes us stronger.
Artist Statement - Madison Freeman, Student VVC
My inspiration partially came from a previous artwork I have done in which showed the beauty in the darkness. I focused on the beginning of the prompt because I connected with it, that death is not a scary event and that there is peace with death and reincarnation. Most people associate death with darkness so I choose to give the artwork an ethereal feeling while incorporating the obscureness by using charcoal. I chose to use this style because I felt that it emphasized the beauty of death.
Faculty Art Contributions
Artist Statement-Christopher Rowland, Art Faculty VVC
After reading some of the text from Washington Black, the main character reminded me of a time in my own life when I was traveling the world…to remote locations from the mountains of Macedonia to the Serengeti in Africa.
In the book Wash, would use his sketchbook to document some of the experiments of the scientist as well as the locations of their travels and adventures; that is where I connected. In my own travels, I always carried a sketchbook. Drawing inspiration from my surroundings, I would illustrate what I saw and wrote down how I felt at the time.
The illustrations created in response to Washington Black were done in a style as if I were there alongside… inspired by the same spirit of adventure and documenting everything.
Artist Statement - Anna-Marie Veloz, Art Faculty, VVC
As an art instructor, I was influenced by the vivid descriptions of place, in Washington Black. I chose to depict some of the sites Wash traveled to including, Amsterdam, the beach of Nova Scotia, the Morocco desert and lastly the Sugarcane Plantation in Barbados.
Bussa Slave Revolt, 1816, Barbados
Artist’s Statement - Theresa D Polley-Shellcroft, Art Faculty, VVC
As an art history instructor, I see art within its historical, cultural context. My three works of art for this event and as they relate to the book about Washington Black’s search for freedom, I needed to know the historical background and context.
The slave revolt events on Barbados as well as the main character, Wash, recall my family history. In 1850, my great, great, grandfather, Harrison Polly (Polley) , along with 8 siblings, were kidnapped from Ohio and sold into slavery in Kentucky and Virginia (now West Virginia). At that time, he was nine years old. His father, Peyton Polly (Polley), my great, great, great, grandfather, filed a lawsuit in the State of Ohio, backed by the governor and prominent abolitionists, to retrieve the children. Fast forward, 2012, our family, with the leadership of my cousin, James Hale, reopened the unsettled case from 1854. It was then ruled that at the time of their kidnapping, Harrison Polly and all siblings were free persons. Not runaways as was claimed in 1850 by the slave catchers.
Freedom is the common thread. How is Freedom defined and understood? Obtained?
I elected to focus on the enslaved person’s revolt of 1816 on several Barbados sugarcane plantations. In the three art works, I chose to give voice and to honor those millions of enslaved persons, who were kidnapped and/or sold into slavery, by acknowledging their struggle for Freedom. Too often, these stories are overlooked in history.