Changing Times, Changing Tones: Exhibit Honoring African American History Month
February 4th, 2016 | Natasha Englehardt
Platt College San Diego presents a selection of graphic design techniques, digital photography, and fine art modus operandi by students who lend to the public an esoteric viewpoint of America from their experiences as African Americans. The artists encompass various themes and rouse conversations about the essence of African American art and culture and their roles in political change, empowerment and contribution to a multinational society.
The student artists merely of African descent designed this exhibition with intentions to educate and inspire the San Diego Community by way of displaying collective forms of art. Changing Times: Changing Tones illuminates the diversity, elegance, endurance, progression, and voluminous tones of a people. You can view it in person the whole month of February at the Spring Valley Library.
It is important to be a part of this show because it showcases the talents of African American students and helps give them a presence in the art world.
It is very important as a black male living in America to defy stereotypes and show that we have diverse interests other than negative stigmas placed upon us by the masses.
Nicole Antoinette Lewis
It is such an honor to not only curate Changing Times: Changing Tones, but to submit my own work. My grandmother and mother raised me to walk to my own rhythm and never let anyone define me. My mother grew up during the Jim Crow Laws and did not have the expressive freedom that I am afforded today. She loved fashion and drawing but was easily discouraged by the racist society she grew up in. She urged me to follow my artistic passions and to be myself.
Society places individuals in stereotypes and boxes according to gender and race. It is important to be part of a show like this one because it gives me a voice and shares with the public the many textures of who I am, not only as an African American woman, but as an artist.
I feel that it is important to be part of a Black History Month art show because it gives blacks an
opportunity to showcase our talents, and it gives us a platform for our creative voices to be heard. Black art is not about art; it’s about making a statement and telling a story.
Photography became my outlet during my time in the military, and it enabled me to transfer my thoughts to an image full of emotion. Furthermore, an intention that I could return to forever. Many Black/African Americans have strong emotions and feelings toward what life is like as a person of color that differs significantly from those of non- Black/ African American communities. Many within our society can feel held down or partitioned from some opportunities to succeed in our society. I strive to capture those feelings and the stories behind them through my photography, but I also became a light of encouragement that shows that none of us should ever feel such a way.
Our success is determined by our own collective, yet individual efforts. I believe that our ultimate goal should be selflessly assisting our fellow brothers and sisters toward achieving their own goals regardless of opposition, negative circumstance or level of education. With my contribution, I hope to encourage more Black/African Americans in our society to contribute in their own way to help maintain a culture built with Unity and Love.
I feel it’s important to be a part of an African American art show so we can present how the young generation of our race can express ourselves and show off our unique talents.
I feel that it is important to be a part of an African American History Art Show because it is important to see different views, opinions and perspectives that’s happening in our culture and witness them come to life in a creative way.
I feel as artists we have the means to express ourselves in ways that connect with people on a more emotional level than any other form of expression — art is undoubtedly the highest form of expression. Being African American, I also realize the importance of knowing the history of my people, and spreading that knowledge to anyone willing to receive it. I feel there is no better way to spread knowledge than through art.
Being a part of the African American History art show is important to myself because it gives individuals an opportune space to showcase history that has inspired America’s culture.
I feel it’s important to be a part of this because this is such a great way to represent upcoming artists of color; presenting ourselves proudly from a culture that hasn’t had it easy.
We need to be heard in multi-media because our artistic presence is not recognized. I want to express my creative mind outside of the norm of the African American community. African Americans should not be defined under limiting categories, rather on a broader, colorful spectrum. I am a collage of a man who grew up on the streets, and a man who advanced myself with an education which is a narrative that most people don’t recognize about black men.
-Artist Statement written by Nicole Lewis (Head Librarian/ Instructor/Art Curator at Platt College San Diego), Tiana Cobble (Alumni/ Teacher Assistant at Platt College San Diego)
-Exhibition curated by Nicole Lewis and Bianca Reyes (Alumni/Librarian at Platt College San Diego) Jonelle Crowder (Platt College San Diego Student)