Anthony Dellamura/Marlin Chronicle
By Stephanie Gotschall
Silhouettes showcasing empowering images of women and highlighting self-love adorn the walls of VWC’s own Fish Bowl.
Junior Sherice Greene’s first art showcase titled, Art by She opened February 5th. Sponsored by the campus’s Black Student Union, Greene’s show introduced the campus to paintings that expressed the empowerment of “self-love,” using African-American women and culture as the main focus of her work.
While seemingly unconventional when compared to the typical artwork that is put up in the Fish Bowl, Greene’s use of nude women displays the importance of empowerment and self-love. These themes proved to be a huge hit with a lot of the campus.
Her choice to hone in on different parts of the body and her unique choice of vibrant colors set the tone for the show. They indicated that while everyone is different, whether it be because of their bodies, their skin color, or their backgrounds or where they came from, they should still see the beauty within them and learn to showcase their own individual “self-love.”
Greene explained that her motivation behind choosing to paint nude African-American women sort of started with herself and her own journey through self-love.
“You have to love your body, love your background, who you are and where you came from, in order to have and keep self-love,” said Greene.
By using detail to express features such as natural hair and natural curves of African-American women, Greene was able to express empowerment from accepting and representing your culture.
Nude women were not the sole focus of her work. A few pieces focused strictly on representing African-American culture and empowerment.
Greene’s most popular painting of the Black Power fist portrayed the positive message of “love your culture and yourself”. Other paintings, such as one that consisted of both a nude woman and the National Black Flag, helped to tie the two components of the show together; the beauty of the African-American body and the importance of culture that stands alongside it.
Greene said that she gained a new view of life from her very first art show.
“Loving yourself and culture is essential to life” said Greene. “You can’t know who you are without loving your culture and every aspect of yourself, flaws and all.”
Being able to express herself and her culture through art and being able to show how beautiful the nude body of African-American women could be were huge perks for Greene. However, her favorite part of doing the show was just seeing how her paintings turned out. Since Greene has only been painting since the start of last summer, painting was a passion of hers, but also presented its challenges.
She explained that she never really has plans for her art as far as the backgrounds and colors go, so she just normally mixes colors and goes from there, hoping for the best. Being able to see her artwork and talent grow and transform was the most exciting part of this event for Greene. The added element of presenting her work solo made the experience that much more memorable.
Art by She. can be counted as a huge success for not only Greene, but also for anyone from the campus community that attended. It spread an important, positive message that everyone could stand to be reminded of every once in a while: self-love starts with you; accepting who you are, where you came from, and embracing it.