Art is the vehicle for storytelling that can’t be captured with words alone — it packs meaning into symbols and themes to be delivered to an audience. Across all mediums, Black artists’ work is an act of protest because the systemic genocide waged against the Black community aims to break them into submission and erase them from the narrative. Every artistic imprint that is made disrupts the narrative that paints them as enemies of the state and is integral in the fight for human rights. We are so proud of the art that was submitted to our Black History Month art contest, created by bold, Black visual artists, eager to propel the movement through their work. We were able to award cash prizes to 3 artists- in 1st place, Jazmine McFadden, 2nd, Kaija Sabbah-Ross and 3rd, Nadia.
Jazmine McFadden from Charlotte, NC (@jmcfadden_art)
"Their Eyes Were Watching God" 30x40, Acrylic on Canvas, 2019. As the tide rises and falls these days, there is a certain type of power resurrecting in black people that knows no bounds, as long as we can unify and rise together we can alter the narrative in all facets.
Kaija Sabbah-Ross from California (@kaijarain)
I painted this piece towards the beginning of the corona -virus pandemic in April of 2020. This piece is entitled “Hummingbird drinking the Nectar of the Sun in the Cursed Springtime”. It represents the juxtaposition of how typically spring is a time for rebirth, however in 2020 it was the beginning of insurmountable grief and death. I chose not to use a prompt, because my identity as a black / pan African woman is intrinsically tied to my work regardless of subject. I have included several symbols from my mothers indigenous tribe in this piece, as well as a candle for mourning, a hummingbird to symbolize moving forward with love. The African symbols used are from the Amazigh tribe and paired with the vibrant red tone is meant to symbolize protection in our increasingly terrifying world.
Nadia from Detroit (@nerdia.nadia)
I chose this piece because for me it shows mental health, it shows vulnerability, a range of emotions from black men, which is so inspiring to see. The rawness from them juxtaposed with colors of a government that depicts them as something completely opposite. This piece shows a defiant revolution against what is expected of them.
Claim Our Space NOW's mission is to reclaim and uplift the Black and brown voices of those who have been pushed to the wayside. We want to see how you claim your space. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to be showcased.
Anthony/ “cozcon” (they/them): Cozcon is a queer Black artist creating pieces that aim to expand the visual language of pop culture by adding to it images of contemporary black life using elements of high fashion, childhood cartoons and queer iconography. To support Cozcon, visit etsy.com/shop/cozcon and follow on instagram @cozcon 🌼
Jade Lilly. Florida native also known as @ShootMeJade, is the queen of bold subtleties and breathing the nuance of the black experience into her work. There is no limit to her creative direction as she moves as quickly as her camera’s shutter when capturing her Goddesses, Kings, and royals in between. Jade’s eye knows how to amplify the epitome of Black royals claiming space! Check out her Instagram page to see even more of her beautiful work.