We’re so lucky at Triangle Community Foundation to have new art exhibits every six months through our partnership with Durham Art Guild’s [email protected] program. As part of the Foundation’s focus on regional cultural arts, our office space also serves as a rotating art gallery to support and foster local artists and to encourage our community to connect and engage in meaningful conversation inspired by art.
And the current exhibit by artist and designer Lakeshia T. Reid is stunning! Her show, In Front of the Mirror, was installed in February, and even though we only got to see it in person for about a month, it made a big impact on me and my colleagues. Here’s what a few of them had to say about their favorite pieces:
- One of my many favorites is The Ideals of Her Time. What I appreciate is her use of vivid and earthy colors, as well as the juxtaposition of centering this fierce, black woman on a mountainous landscape. I am always grateful to see black women represented in art. This particular painting struck me as the woman depicted reminds me of a younger picture of my mother from the ‘70s. - Ebony West (Programs & Engagement Associate)
- I love them all, but I think my favorite is From the Earth and the Elements. I love the contrast of the deep blues against the white/cream. To me, her connection to the earth and the water while looking forward and upward to the sky symbolizes the idea of being aspirational and grounded, which is what I think about when I think of our work at the Foundation. - Lori O’Keefe (President & CEO)
- I love love love The Cause of Miracles. There’s such power in her body showing a whimsical joy, while wearing the staple of every New Yorker’s closet: a pair of crisp and strong Timbaland boots. - Natalia Siegel (Donor Services Officer)
Usually we invite folks to come to our office to see the Triangle Community Artists Gallery in person. Obviously, given the current COVID-19 situation, that isn’t possible right now. So we wanted to give you the chance to experience the exhibit and get to know Lakeshia better.
You can now peruse this online gallery, where you can view Lakeshia’s exhibit from the comfort of your own screen.
And please enjoy an interview between Durham Art Guild’s Gallery Assistant Dara Baldwin and Lakeshia below, giving you an inside look at the show.
Dara: How did your career as an artist begin?
Lakeshia: I started taking myself seriously in January of 2019 and consider that the beginning of my career. I created work prior to that but I wasn't as dedicated or persistent as I am now.
Dara: What is the inspiration behind your current body of work and the works on display at the Triangle Community Foundation?
Lakeshia: The work that's on display at the TCF offers my interpretation of #BlackGirlMagic through Tarot cards. I was fascinated by the reverence and fear associated with them and thought that I could use the play on words to tell stories. The Fool, Empress, Hermit, Temperance, Star, Magician and World cards are all depicted in this show.
Dara: Tell me more about #BlackGirlMagic.
Lakeshia: #BlackGirlMagic is a phrase/movement that was created to celebrate the beauty, power and resilience of Black women. It is sometimes criticized because historically the image of Black women persevering despite their suffering has been tied to subhuman treatment.
Dara: You are also a graphic designer. Does graphic design seep into your fine-art and, if so, can you explain how?
Lakeshia: My background as a designer plays a heavy roll in my fine art work. In design, you create mockups of your work before you finalize it and I do the same thing for my paintings. I use Photoshop to manipulate images of my subject and adjust colors and lighting as needed. When I have something I like, I can start my painting. In the end though, my paintings have a life of their own because I change things as I go.
Dara: Any ideas on your next body of work?
Lakeshia: I had a few ideas in mind, but things are more up in the air since the beginning of the stay-at-home order. Nothing, subject wise, feels 'right' at the moment. I did, however, start a new painting on a whim and I'm excited to see what will come next.
Dara: Why are local community arts organizations important to you as an artist and/or what about the [email protected] Program partnership between DAG and Triangle Community Foundation has been unique or helpful?
Lakeshia: I think local arts organizations are important because they make art and being involved with the arts more accessible. Through the [email protected] program I was able to put together and hang my first solo show which in turn helped boost my confidence.
Dara: As we are both aware, so many artists, arts presenters and arts organizations are being impacted by the pandemic. Are you willing to share how you've been impacted and are there ways that people can support you as an artist through this time?
Lakeshia: The pandemic has drastically changed my year. I've had a pop-up show with a meet and greet cancelled, a solo show postponed indefinitely, a residency more or less put on hold and two mentorship programs brought to a halt. Commissions are more than welcome at this time but you can also purchase work from the show.
Want to buy a piece?
Lakeshia’s original pieces don’t stick around long. In fact, between the time she submitted her application last summer and the installation in February, many of her pieces had sold! Luckily, she had the opportunity to spend time creating more as a Regional Emerging Artist in Residence at Artspace in Raleigh. And if Lakeshia’s Instagram is any indication, she’s busy creating more compelling, beautiful pieces during this crazy time!
If you’re interested in purchasing a piece from this show, please contact the Durham Art Guild at email@example.com.
Next Call for Artists
The next call for artists for the 2020-2021 Triangle Community Artists Gallery will be released soon! Check the website and social media for an announcement in the coming weeks.