In honor of Black History Month, the Georgia Tech African American Student Union (AASU) has curated a collection of art made by Black members of the Tech community. The showcase is on display in the third floor of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Center.
The AASU’s Black History Month Art Showcase features seven works of art, including paintings, multimedia pieces, photography and poetry. The art featured was selected by the AASU BHM Committee from a pool of applicants from the Tech community.
Angelique Carson contributed not just one, but three paintings to the installation. All of her paintings feature Black women in different lights. The first, “Reflections” resembles a playing card — two young girls are painted facing opposite directions, both with the same challenging expression but in different clothing and hair, each with a small 3 above
Carson’s other two paintings have heavy Biblical themes. “False Prophet” depicts a woman up to her eyes in water, with hair flowing around her and a crown upon her head. The golden crown is the first thing the viewer sees against the otherwise blue painting, giving the impression of Basquiat. Carson’s use of bright colors and bold lines create powerful and striking visuals.
Carson’s third painting “Ephesians 6:12 / War in the Mind” is an emotional painting of a woman spewing red from her mouth and lightning from her eyes in anguish or in anger. The texture in this painting adds a contrast to the cartoonist depiction of the woman.
The verse that the painting is named after — “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” — has devastating resonance in the light of racial injustices that BHM highlights.
Another piece of art featured in the exhibition is a poem — something not often included in art installations. Khamansha Raphael’s “On the dead homies” is a gut wrenching and intimate look at the Black experience in America.
With lines like “Gold medalist or perceived menace / it makes no difference in a society white washed by a christened / fear complex,” Raphael’s words rightly indict the world we live in. The poem ends with the deafening lines “Nah, I’m just trying to stay alive / Million man marching with all the homies / that might never make it home.”
The most striking painting in the showcase is Nigel Davis’ “They Found Me.” Painted on a three foot tall piece of wood, this piece is dominated by a smiling multicolored face, surrounded by smaller grey and purple faces with swirling eyes.
“This painting expresses the acknowledgement of entities in this world that are working with you, not against you,” said Davis, “Consider these ‘entities’ as Angels divinely guided to help manifest the life you want for yourself.”
Make sure to check out the African American Student Union’s Black History Month Art Showcase on the third floor of the Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons before the end of February.