BC Holds Black History Month Artist Panel Featuring Local Artists

The Social Justice Center will be hosting a panel focusing on the works of Black artists from the local community.

The significance of the art produced by Black artists and musicians, especially in relation to Black History Month, cannot be overstated; Black artists have made significant contributions to the culture surrounding artistic expression. This is in spite of the fact that systems of oppression have continued to deny Black artists the opportunity to showcase their work or participate in the overall conversation. Case in point: a 2022 report conducted on the demographics of 31 US museums and the international auction market found that only 2.2% of acquisitions and 6.3% of the exhibitions at the museums were of Black American artists (2008-2020) and only 1.9% of total auction sales from 2008 to 2022 were of Black American artists (this figure was also heavily boosted by the performance of a few artists).

While there are some signs of change, such as an increase in auction spending on Black American art from 2008 to 2021 and an increase in Black American art exhibitions from 2008 to 2020, providing some optimism, there remains a clear need for increased visibility and representation towards Black artists.

This is why the Social Justice Center is choosing to highlight the works of Sharvoski Gunn and Yani B, two local Black artists with unique stories, motivations and influences behind their works.

Mr. Gunn, who was born in Albany, Georgia, describes his motivation to produce art as choosing “to produce color in the dark void…of depression [induced by childhood trauma].” He cites the works of Cinnamon Cooney, Martel Chapman, and Paul Tag as the primary influences on his art, which are created primarily in acrylics and oils.

Mrs. B, who is influenced heavily by her heritage, expresses the nuances of African-American culture through a variety of artistic mediums and abstract art forms in her works. Some of her designs have been used in home interiors featured by HGTV and a collection of her art can be found on her Etsy shop.