Wednesday, February 11, 2015

3 Female African American Artists You'll Want to Discover

In honor of Black History Month, I want to share with you three women artists who have made
Mother and Child by Elizabeth Catlett
courtesy of
contributions to the art scene. As a female African American artists who has lived and traveled around the world, I'm inspired by the many people I have met on my travels, and am excited to share with you three African American female artists who represent the many black visual artists I have met.

During February I will be sharing with you the artistry of three female African American artists:
This week I'm honored to share the works of:

Sculptor and Printmaker Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett, artist
courtesy of
Born in Washington D.C. Elizabeth Catlett is best remembered for the political sculptures and prints she created during the 60s and 70s. Catlett earned her MFA at the University of Iowa, where her mentor artist Grant Wood influenced her to to focus on African American subjects, especially black women.

After a brief art teaching career and move to Harlem, she married her second husband, Mexican artist Francisco Mora; and permanently moved to Mexico where she raised her children. She taught and became head of the sculpture department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, as well as worked with other artists to use their art to encourage social change.

Her political outspokenness about the plights of African Americans - including picketing, protesting and arrests - and becoming a Mexican citizen resulted in being banned from returning to the US for 10 years.
Are we here to communicate? Are we here for cultural interchange? Then let us not be narrow. Let us not be small or selfish. Let us aspire to be as great in our communication as the forefathers of our people who's struggles made our being here possible.
~ Elizabeth Catlett, 1961, Washington D.C., address to

Catlett's works include:
  • Sharecropper
    Louis Armstron by Elizabeth Catlett
    courtesy of
  • Malcolm X Speaks For Us
  • Dancing Figure
  • The Black Woman Speaks
  • Target
  • The Singing Head
  • Statue of Louis Armstrong in Louis Armstrong Park in New Orleans
  • Ralph Ellison Memorial in West Harlem, NYC
  • Children of Flowers in the National Mall, Washington DC
  • Sculpture of Mahalia Jackson in New Orleans
In addition to her formal education, Elizabeth Catlett received the following honors:
  • Women's Caucus for Art
  • Elizabeth Catlett Week in Berkley, California
  • Elizabeth Catlett Day in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Honorary Doctorate from Pace University, NYC
  • Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award
  • Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh, PA
  • Jazz piece Quiet Pride about her sculptures by musician Rufus Reid
  • NCAA Image Awards 2009
For more photos of works by Elizabeth Catlett 

Next week, I look forward to sharing  you the artistry of  Alma Woodsey Thomas.
  • Alma Woodsey Thomas
  • Barbara Chase-Riboud
à la prochaine,

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