If I asked you to name a few artists and painters that are well known or that you greatly admire, what names would come to mind? Now I could be entirely wrong and if so please pardon my presumptions but the probability is that the names that popped into your head first were male.
It is sadly the way things have been for a very long time in more occupations than what I have put forth (including photography I might add). And don’t get me started on how low on the scale of acknowledgement, popularity or pay it is for a woman especially if she is a minority, more mature in age or a minority woman of a certain age. But the times they are a changing and for the better. Yes!
So having said that, I wish to share here five female mural artists that have their works on display in downtown Columbus, Ohio on the plywood that is covering the destruction caused by looters during the first days of the protests over the death of George Floyd. They have created some beautiful works with powerful and important messages that just reach out and draw you in. They stand equally with their brothers in art in creating stunning work.
This piece is called “Nothing to Fear Here” by artist Francesca Miller, an Ohio State University Art Education graduate. She used her young nephew as the model for the mural. While her nephew loved seeing himself portrayed in her painting, Francesca wanted any little black boy to be able to see himself in this piece.
“We Are Each Other’s Harvest” an Ode to Gwendolyn Brooks. The artist, Lisa McLymont has a BSID in Industrial Design from Ohio State University. This is her first solo painted mural and if that isn’t enough of an accomplishment, she is a self taught artist as well.
This is “Never Stop” by Makayla Smith who is currently an Ohio State University student majoring in economics. This piece is her way of expressing and memorializing these moments and deaths named in her mural. Never Stop is about not giving up on seeking justice for these families that no longer have their loved ones with them because of racism, peer violence or the police.
This beautiful piece has no name; I’d call it Lovely Lady if I were to christen her. The artist, Jonet Mitchell, attends Ohio State University working towards her degree in psychology and has enjoyed painting for years now. Her use of complimentary and contrasting colors here is gorgeous.
I’m starting to get a bit jealous of these artists, like Misty Temple here, who are self taught. Such talent wouldn’t you agree? She didn’t go to an art school but has been painting her whole life. While this piece has no name she told me that it speaks for itself by showing how Columbus has the Black Lives Matter’s back. Misty is a tattooist and owner of her own tattoo studio.