Monthly Archives: June, 2020

Letters Study for Entanglements, 2019
Kozo paper, ink, china marker, aerosol paint
200 × 100 inches
by Kentura Davis (b. 1984)

Growing up, my Dad used to casually throw out an idiom that went, “There’s no such thing as undiscovered genius.” Over time, as my brothers and I embarked on slow-burning careers in the arts, we internalized his words as a call to work as hard as possible. We fleshed out this ethic with another favourite family strap-line: “Keep busy while waiting for something to happen.”

Letters Blocks and Strips Work-Clothes Quilt, c. 1950s
Denim and cotton twill
87 x 66 inches
by Emma Lee Pettway Campbell (1928-2002)

Along the Alabama River just south of Selma, there’s a horseshoe-shaped turn resembling an inland island, where a cotton plantation once stood. In 1816, 18 slaves were brought to this bend by a man named Gee from North Carolina. A generation later, his cousin, Pettway, took over the plantation and brought more slaves — one of them, Dinah Miller, brought to the United States on a slave ship in 1859, has descendants living there today. When the last remaining African American slaves were emancipated on June 19th, 1865, many from the Pettway plantation, who now also went by the name of Pettway, continued to work there as sharecroppers.

Letters The Door of Justice, 2000
color lithograph
24.25 x 27.5 inches
by Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012)

Different from an artist statement, which is a written description in support of your work for the purpose of a deeper understanding of it, a mission statement can be one sentence that summarizes your purpose, values or goals. You may feel this kind of thing is obvious or that art is simply a form of breathing, but it can also be fun to try to encapsulate a raison d’être — even if just as an exercise for clarity, in this moment, for your work and life.

Letters Shelter, 1992-1995
by Noah Purifoy

Dear Artist, Yesterday, Diana Miller-Pierce of Fort Wayne, Indiana wrote, “As a professional artist and…