Beginning August 1st 2020, I will begin shooting for my upcoming “royal:BLACK” exhibition that is to be open to the public in the city of Asheville sometime in the winter of 2020 or early in 2021.
It is a project that I am excited to be doing with an amazing supporting community. My vision statement is below as well as a link with more information on how to signup or contribute financially.
WE ARE ROYAL. I have navigated the constructs of systemic racism to end up here which, in all honesty, is far below my expected level of success. Some is of my own accord, though most is not. My outside view of myself was, for a long time, depressingly negative. I didn’t love my dark skin. My wide nose. My short, coiled hair. As I have stepped into the role of visual artist, I have began to have an internal struggle. Most of my art doesn’t reflect me. Or not the me I would expect to see if I were a stranger gazing upon my own visuals. That eventually landed me here. In the now that all of the world is living live and televised. As things come to light and tempers rise (my own included), so does the clarity for the the things that need to be seen and heard. I reached back to my childhood to think of what I saw of people like me that made me proud. There’s not much. You have your cliche poster children, and you can easily guess the professions of those. However, they weren’t me. What do I want to leave with my son for him to gaze upon? What imagery of mine will empower him? What even are we? ROYAL. We were and we still are. Our bloody history here in the States has shrouded so much of where we came from before we were even here, and most of our youth (and adults) can’t even comprehend what that may be like because most of us have never felt it. We don’t have portraits of our glorious ancestors on horseback, draped in our nations flag, rosy with glee from our divine victory. So I, along with members of my local community, seek to create that. Our true blood will shine through. The blood of our ancestors. The kings and queens that birthed us into this realm of existence. I want to show us what we really are and hope to really lift my community up into the light that we all so deserve. We are beautiful. Every single one of us and that is what will show. There will be no smoke and mirrors. Just us.