Our Emergent Museum Craft

Statistically, women artists make up 50% of artists around the world yet only 2-3% of artists represented in galleries and museums are women. Of this percentage, the number of Black female artists is even smaller.

In the United States, February is Black History Month. As stewards of the MUSEA Museum, we would like to honor some of the Black women artists who have paved the way for other women in the arts:

Picking Cotton, Clementine Hunter

Photo Courtesy: The Haynie Family Collection

Clementine Hunter (1886 - 1988)

A self-taught folk artist from Louisiana, Clementine Hunter is known for her paintings depicting the plantations on which she lived and worked. Labeled illiterate because she was unable to read or write, this artist was prolific with a paintbrush. Northwestern State University in Louisiana bestowed upon Ms. Hunter an honorary degree in fine arts in recognition of her artwork. She is now exhibited in galleries and museums and her art is sought after by collectors including Oprah Winfrey.

Lina Iris Viktor (b. 1987)

Through an exploration of artistic traditions and the historical and social implications of black and gold, Lina Iris Viktor creates unmistakable portraits with a limited palette of just 5 colors. The inclusion of gold leaf in her artwork moves her creativity beyond just painting into mixed media art.

IV - In Timelessness We Built Our Temple Black, by Lina Iris Viktor

Photo Courtesy: Instagram

Portrait of Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald

Photo Courtesy: Wikipedia

Amy Sherald (b. 1973)

Selected as the official painter of Former First Lady Michelle Obama in 2017, Amy Sherald is known for her paintings which speak to problems with injustice in Black Culture. Ms. Sherald deliberately paints her portraits with skin tones in greyscale as a stand against identifying people by the color of their skin.

"Unfortunately, the Museum Industry in the Global North, and the international ‘elite’ art world, have a long history of excluding work by women (including trans women) and people of color. Here at MUSEA Intentional Creativity Museum, Curator Shiloh Sophia and the Co-Curators Team have been working diligently to try and hold awareness of the exclusion, misrepresentation or complete lack of representation that is part of the legacy of Museums. We believe there is healing needed, and that consultation, collaboration, and consciously co-creating opportunities for women of color to create and curate their own art exhibits is of utmost importance if integral representation is to occur." ~ Jessica Richmond, MUSEA CoCurator

We hope that you will join us in uplifting this severely underrepresented sector of artists around the world.

Article by Sumaiyah Wysdom

February 8, 2024