Reflections of a Queen by A.C. Smith
At the time I didn't know who the artist was but my first thought was....now this makes sense. It was that moment of wow! This is an art piece I would love to see up close.
In a recent blog post about Dr. Kellie Jones, I found this art work by Charles White one of the artist discussed in South of Pico. I absolutely love Eartha Kitt and had to know more about this artwork.
In South of Pico Kellie Jones explores how the artists in Los Angeles's black communities during the 1960s and 1970s created a vibrant, productive, and engaged activist arts scene in the face of structural racism. Emphasizing the importance of African American migration, as well as L.A.'s housing and employment politics, Jones shows how the work of black Angeleno artists such as Betye Saar, Charles White, Noah Purifoy, and Senga Nengudi spoke to the dislocation of migration, L.A.'s urban renewal, and restrictions on black mobility.
In a recent blog post about Elizabeth Catlett's sculpture tilted "Glory" I wanted to know more about the art work. Who is the woman depicted? What is her significance to the arts and history? After researching I was amazed. The woman sculpted below is Glory Van Scott, actor, dancer, and educator. Read the excerpt of her story here.
Elizabeth Catlett's "Glory" inspires music. The sculptures of the late African-American artist and civil rights activist Elizabeth Catlett are the inspiration for a new jazz composition. Rufus Reid, a bass musician who's been playing jazz for half a century, uses Catlett's artwork to explore the intersection between music and the visual arts. In his new project, called "Quiet Pride," Reid tries to convey Catlett's sculptures in sound. 
"Untitled" New Orleans Series by Gwendolyn Knight, 1941
From an early age I've always been fascinated by the Madonna and child imagery. "Madonna, in Christian art, depiction of the Virgin Mary; the term is usually restricted to those representations that are devotional rather than narrative and that show her in a nonhistorical context and emphasize later doctrinal or sentimental significance. The Madonna is accompanied most often by the infant Christ, [but she can be depicted alone.]" 
The Sande Society is a fellowship of women found in West African cultures, which aims at preparing girls for adulthood. 
Marilyn Nance is a photojournalist who goes her own way. She wants to tell the truth, particularly about her own community whom she calls ordinary working class Black folks. She follows her instincts, leading her down paths beyond still photography. Marilyn noted in a lecture at the Library of Congress, ". . . the commercial media often has no interest in showing the images that I feel need to be shown."1
A pioneer of second-wave feminist and postwar black nationalist aesthetics—whose lasting influence was secured by her iconic reclamation of the Aunt Jemima figure in works such as The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972)—Betye Saar began her career in design before transitioning to assemblage and installation. 
Renee Cox continues to question society and the roles it gives to blacks and women with her elaborate scenarios and imaginative visuals that offend some and exhilarate others.
Harriet Powers used traditional techniques in her quilts to record local legends, Bible stories and astronomical events on her quilts. One of the panels on Powers quilts illustrate the “dark day” of May 19, 1780 (which is now known as dense smoke over North America caused by Canadian wildfires) and the November 13, 1833, as the “night of falling stars” that convinced many terrified Americans that Judgment Day had come, but was later identified as the Leonid meteor storm. Two of her quilts are on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC; Bible Quilt of 1886 and Pictorial Quilt of 1898.
In the 1920s Augusta Savage received commissions to create portrait busts of W.E.B. Du Bois and black nationalist Marcus Garvey; both pieces were hailed for their power and dynamism. On the strength of these works and especially the poignant Gamin (1929)—a portrait bust of a streetwise boy and one of Savage’s few extant pieces—she received a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship that enabled her finally to study in Paris in 1929–31.**
Created at the dawn of the Harlem Renaissance, Fuller's sculpture "Ethiopia" is widely considered the first Pan-African American work of art. Fuller studied with Raphaël Collin and was mentored by painter Henry Ossawa Tanner. Her work symbolized a new black identity that was emerging through the Renaissance and represented a pridefulness in African and black heritage and identity
Senga Nengudi emerged as part of a group of avant-garde African-American artists active in Los Angeles and New York in the 1970s and 1980s.
Valerie Mercer's curatorial work shines a light on Detroit's black art history for the world to see and experience.
Loïs Mailou Jones's work was abstract and hard-edged and her impressionist techniques gave way to a richly patterned and brilliantly colored style. She produced work that echoed her pride in her African roots and American ancestry. **** In a career spanning more than 70 years, Loïs Mailou Jones overcame racial and gender prejudices to become a successful and influential painter, designer, and educator.*
Thelma Golden is Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, the world’s leading institution devoted to visual art by artists of African descent. Over the years, she has worked with, hired and nurtured curators who have gone on to shape institutions all over the country.
In a career spanning more than 70 years, Elizabeth Catlett has created sculptures that celebrate the heroic strength and endurance of African-American and Mexican working-class women. With simple, clear shapes she evokes both the physical and spiritual essence of her subjects. Her hardy laborers and nurturing mothers radiate both power and a timeless dignity and calm. Whether working in wood, stone, bronze, or clay, Catlett reveals an extraordinary technical virtuosity, a natural ability to meld her curving female forms with the grain, whorls, color, or luster of her chosen medium. The beauty of her subjects is matched by the beauty she reveals in her sculptural materials.**
Sylvia Williams directed installation of five inaugural exhibitions and more than 20 other exhibitions of traditional and modern art, including sculpture, photography, textiles and utilitarian objects. Under her direction, the museum acquired 845 works of art.*
Corrine Jennings, has organized major exhibitions of more than 5,000 artists and produced 23 catalogs.
Since the early 1960s, Faith Ringgold has been known for her story quilts, politically charged paintings and prints, and illustrated children’s books. She has eloquently articulated a critical perspective on American identity through the lenses of the feminist and civil rights movements.***
“I always made sure that all those people who thought they weren’t part of the opportunity to participate in the arts could find a way to become part of that experience,” said Leslie King Hammond, PhD, graduate dean emerita and founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at MICA. Her words are realized with the creation of the Leslie King Hammond Graduate Award. *
Valerie Cassel Oliver, senior curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, has become a powerful force in contemporary art.
Dr. Deborah Willis is an artist, author and curator Deborah Willis's art and pioneering research has focused on cultural histories envisioning the black body, women and gender.
In 2011, Dr. Kellie Jones and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles curated an exhibition that chronicled the historic art scene in Los Angeles between 1960-1980s. The exhibition Now Dig This! was presented as part of Pacific Standard Time, a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a new force in the art world. Read more here.
Samella Lewis, the first African American to earn a PHD in Fine Art and Art History, in creating published works about African American artists.
She is my inspiration and one of many people who inspire me.