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How strong is our power of language — visual and verbal? How can we convey our emotions in a way that people understand and value? James Baldwin describes the precise role of an artist as one who “illuminate[s] darkness, blaze[s] roads through that vast forest, so that we will not, in all our doing, lost sight of its purpose, which is, after all, to make the world a more human dwelling place.” A human dwelling place, I believe, can only be reached through our comfort in having uncomfortable conversations: a place where we learn from each other by communicating about past mistakes and being open to change.

During the past year, we have experienced various changes: the world endured months of lockdown due to COVID-19, and as the United States convulsed with protests and activism in response to systemic racism, we were offered a new view of social justice and civic engagement. We mourned those we have lost and we fought for our rights — our beliefs. 

I paint to raise my voice to create a visual dwelling in which to explore the potential of justice and awareness of current events. I paint with the hope that my artworks will inspire at least one person to tell their story and express their opinions without feeling judged or dismissed in society because of their identity, lack of voice, or confidence. 

With every artwork I create, I have the desire to pursue a goal beyond the physical object, something even greater — just like something could be changed and bettered in our society each day.  I never settle for just one medium or one aspect of current events to depict in my works. That is the beauty of art, that in itself, there is the potential for openness to change.


While I started from solely painting self-portraiture, I now focus on installations. I try using ink and water rather than running to the art store to get more oil paint when I run out of it. I don’t try to focus on events targeting my own race or my neighborhood; instead, I read more and learn from my peers who inspire me to shed light on communities all around the world. My aim in art is to become a catalyst to recognition, understanding, and hopefully change in the world around me. When making an artwork, I create a "dwelling" for the eye and mind: when my work is completed, I yearn for the audience to begin a dialogue with my piece by receiving my message and creating their own. With ten-foot installations and bold, defiant hues and strokes of ink and oil paint, my intent is to empower those who have been silenced, bring their issues to light, and advocate for change. 

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