NYU Black Renaissance Noire Volume 18 Issue 3 - Fall 2018 - Page 54

l l What role do gender & race play in today’s marketplace? Gender and race play a big role in terms of how work is priced. Black women still have a long way to go to for their work to be priced on par with white male artists. There’s a huge pay gap. What do you find most exciting, most frustrating, most gratifying about being an artist? Being able to do the thing that I’ve loved since I was kid and doing it professionally is exciting and gratifying. The process of discovery that comes with a new idea, researching a subject and following a line of inquiry is exciting — it always uncovers something new. Seeing the realization of years of work when it’s exhibited in a gallery or museum and then experiencing how it functions in the world—are all exciting aspects of being an artist. The work takes me to unexpected places and I’ve met incredible people along the way. Mrs. A. W. West, Senior, 2018 Graphite and conté pencil on paper 33 1/4” by 47” It can be difficult to find a balance between my work life and my home life. As my career grows, I try to take advantage of all of my opportunities, but as a working mother, I can’t pursue every opportunity. I’m also learning how to navigate my personal capacity for work and how to be more realistic with what projects I can take on as far as time commitments are concerned. When I over-commit, the work suffers. It can be frustrating to realize that I simply don’t have the time or bandwidth to participate in all of the projects that I’d like. How long did it take you to find a gallery to exhibit your work & what factors contributed to your decision to choose one? I was working for a long time before I found representation by a gallery. Like many galleries, the first gallery that represented me closed during the 2008 economic recession. I’m currently represented by Rena Bransten Gallery in San Francisco. Their reputation, the caliber of artists that they represent and the amount of time that they had been in business were some of the factors that I considered. It also felt like a good fit. Mentha L. Johnson, 2018 Graphite and conté pencil on paper 33 1/4” by 47” p p Lottie Green Varner, 2018 Graphite and conté pencil on paper 33 1/4” by 47” JoAnn Robinson, 2018 Graphite and conté pencil on paper 33 1/4” by 47”