Karen J. Anderson is an artist, writer, photographer, publisher and filmmaker. She uses a variety of methods to uplift, inform and educate African Americans and people of color.
I believe stories can be told in many ways and use a variety of methods to uplift, inform and educate African American and people of color. I want my work to bring energy and life to a marginalized community to help it become strong and active. I want to do work that gets people to talking about the issues of life.
She has a Master of Arts in New Art Journalism from the School of the Arts Institute in Chicago. She has produced and directed two films, Family Tree, a feature about a dysfunctional family reunion and 14 to Fate, a futuristic short. Her artwork has shown in online galleries for Shanti Arts in the group exhibition Phenomenal Woman in 2019 and as “A History” in Amuse-Bouche (Lunch Ticket) in 2020. It has been published in a group anthology of artists in the Genre Urban Arts No. 8 Print, in Still Point Arts Quarterly and in Wordpeace. In 2021 her work, the Servant Leader was in Levitate. Her Instagram page is BlackGyrlArt. Her website is uppcreative.com.
There are five areas of life that stand out to me and allows me to put my storytelling in to those categories:
01 History My artwork explores the history of my people noting that slavery was a period in time, but not the entire history of us.
This wink to artist Aaron Douglass style of creating images that tell African American stories. It pays tribute to those who were captured in slavery during the diaspora. These people looked up in the moment because forward was too hard.
Created: Nov 2018
Most of my life I was taught that people of African descent were servants or savages. As an adult I discovered the lies and hidden or erased history of my people. Dom Castro was an ambassador from the Congo who traveled to Europe and South America. Ebenezer Bassett was the first African American diplomat in the United States and an ambassador to Haiti in 1862.
Created: June 2021
02 Cultural Diversity I look at the things that make us us. What do I love about my people and why are we different.
Brown is Beautiful:
Brown comes in many shades. Mistaken for black, brown is often the color of the skin that has been beautiful all along.
Created: May 2020
Two young people sitting next to each other with torn jeans, high tops and boots.
Created: Dec 2019
03 Justice and Fairness There is a bone in me that screams for justice, but praise God there is another that looks for fairness. It knows I will not find it all in one location or people.
This work comes from an image of Representative Andy Kim, D-New Jersey, cleaning the capitol after the insurrection on Jan 6. While everyone was posturing, he led with action.
Created: Jan 2021
An image of the capitol, shortly after the riot at twilight.
Created: June 2021
04 Everyday Life Certain moments in life are just fun, while others are important
An 8-year-old girl is dressed as the dark ringmaster.
Created: Nov 2019
A historic neighborhood in south Chicago is home to some beautiful well-built homes that began in 1880. George Pullman created a small-town house by house for the workers of his Pullman Rail cars.
Created: May 2019
05 Faith My foundation is the belief that Jesus Christ is my savior. But time has taught me that the images from my childhood are not the images of the one who died for me. I have created my own.
The Lion of Judah
Sometimes my savior is referred to as the Lion of Judah. It reminds me He is powerful and ruler of all.
Created: May 2020
James C Lewis created amazing portraits of biblical characters with darker skin and African features. This is my drawing of his photo of Jesus.
Created: July 2019
All images are for sale except Brown Jesus. $500 to $1,000 depending on size.
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