Lives matter

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Donald R. Sawyer Jr. (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Ron Laboray

Abstract: My studio practice investigates “Blackness” -- a term that provides both a positive and negative identity. “Blackness” is a reflection not only of the black community, but also of the entire world. My studio research includes crime statistics, information and interviews from the African American community, various media outlets, and narrative subject matter derived from personal experiences. My paintings actively reveal a black community asking questions about their identity, power, and traditions, while also trying to place into context those daily struggles and celebrations of life. Therefore, my practice seeks to challenge the black community to empower themselves through presenting personal histories and engaging in activism such as the “Black Lives Matter” movement. My work is also to challenge others to contemplate, why there is a positive and negative connotation with “Blackness”? Because all lives do matter.I base my paintings around three worldly themes that greatly concern me, as a black artist. These realistic, narrative compositions are my views of police violence and its consequences, human trafficking, and homelessness, within the black communities and the world as a whole.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Arts -- Political aspects
Blacks in art

Email this document to