Well here we are already halfway through Black history month 2023. The Canadian theme this year is: “Ours to tell.”
“This theme represents both an opportunity to engage in open dialogue and a commitment to learning more about the stories Black communities in Canada have to tell about their histories, successes, sacrifices and triumphs.”https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/campaigns/black-history-month.html#shr-pg0
Also, there’s a link to noteworthy figures of interest. The links on the page all lead to each individual’s biography. Each person helped shape Canadian heritage and identity. Two people included are Angela James, Women’s World Hockey Champion and Doctor Clement Courtenay Ligoure, Halifax’s first Black doctor to name a few. This list of noteworthy figures is lengthy, going from playwrights, revolutionists, storytellers and a lot of people on the Human Rights Commission.
If you’d like some resources, use this link to get to the Black History Digital Toolkit where you’ll find colouring books, virtual backgrounds for video conferencing, cover photos, content and visuals for social media.
Now back to my love of art. I could tell you all that as a teen I was totally into doing research. But I wasn’t, the amount of information we were told about black female artists was limited to zero. I even remember wondering, “where are the black females artists?” which lead to “where are the black females in the abstract art world?”Read more: Black History and Abstract Art
In the spirit of Black history month and thanks to the internet I have all kinds of information at my fingertips. Research doesn’t involve me being kicked out of a library at (closing time) just when the search is getting good! Drumroll please… I would like to introduce you all to Alma Woodsey Thomas (22 septembre 1891 – 24 février 1978). The link leads to an ARTnews article titled, How Alma Thomas’s Radiant Paintings Plotted a New Course for Abstraction. She was born in Columbus Georgia, and always worked towards becoming a full time artist. It was her artwork that was created as a retired school teacher of 35 years that really took off. She explored colour and form in her art and met many barriers but still continued to paint.
Take a look at Alma Thomas, Red Sunset, Old Pond Concerto, 1972, acrylic on canvas, I love the shade of red she chose and the colours beneath that seape through as if they are vying for the viewers attention. Looking at this artwork on my computer underneath the reds, I see navy blues, pale teals, greens, yellows and beiges. Definitely a painting I want to see in person…Goals!
“Alma Thomas began to paint seriously in 1960, when she retired from her thirty-eight year career as an art teacher in the public schools of Washington, D.C. In the years that followed she would come to be regarded as a major painter of the Washington Color Field School.”
“Within the last years of her life she achieved national recognition as a major woman artist devoted to abstract painting.”https://americanart.si.edu/artist/alma-thomas-4778
Her art will be at the Smithsonian from September 15, 2023 – June 2, 2024.
One more thing, I have a Daily Writing and Drawing Journal available on Amazon. Check it out here.
Enjoy the rest of Black history month 2023.