Black Artist League encourages students to raise awareness of, emphasize black art

The group hosted an artist social Thursday, where students presented their art and talent.

More than 70 students and alumni attended the Artist Social, hosted by the Black Artist League, on Thursday night at the Schine Student Center. Several students shared their talents and works of art with attendants and earned applause and support in return.

Three student artists, Rhandi Green, Vashon Watson and Marius Jackson, presented their artworks and thoughts on black art at the beginning of the event. Architecture senior Green painted a half-naked black girl with inspiration from her class on black art and film.

“Black people are mostly recognized with several labels such as rapper and signer, but black people can be beautiful because of their skin,” Green said. As an architecture student, Green’s dream job is to create a comfortable space for people where they know who they are and will not be judged by others.

Communication design sophomore Noahamin Taye presented several faceless paintings because she did not want people to identify oneself through one’s face. 

It was the second time that the Black Artist League had organized the Artist Social event. Co-president LaNia Roberts said that this event was more organized and rounded than the last social. Roberts felt that black art is unknown to a lot of people in that it is hard to raise awareness. When students take art history class, there are only few black artists in that history, Roberts said. However, a lot of black artists have contributed art to society.

And the Black Artist League aims to promote and expand awareness of young black artists. “Black means any minority, any student with a different culture,” Roberts said. “People really enjoyed expressing themselves but may not really be recognized. We create a space where people have things in common like a home to share their talent comfortably.”

The Artist Social is not only a platform for student artists to share their talents in art but also a place that encourages more students to get involved in art. Those students are not necessarily from College of Visual and Performing Arts. As long as they have interest in art, they can show it at this event, Roberts said.

Roberts said the League does not want to define any student as an artist, but wants to create a space to show any student's talent.

To some extent, the Black Artist League is a support group for black artists. “I am black and I support my people,” Taye said.

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