Let’s talk about Black Excellence! Last night at the DuSable Museum, I had the pleasure of coming out to the Pigment Salon Talk “Exploring Our Missing History.” I had the opportunity to listen to a panel of guests speaking on Black history and what has and hasn’t changed today in society. The creatives on the panel were Artist/Sculptor Gerald Griffin, Artist/Muralist Dwight White and Robert Hanserd, Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago. NBC 5 Correspondent LeeAnn Trotter was the moderator. One of the highlights of the event was getting the opportunity to interview the Muralist Dwight White. His story inspired me and the entire audience. His inspiration behind all of his artwork stemmed from his mental health. Mental health is a serious issue. The issues he faced prompted him to make art, which in return healed him. That was the most inspirational conversation I’ve had in my life! Being able to use your pain and suffering to not only help get yourself through things but to inspire others is a powerful message.
White also had some advice for young creatives who want to get into the game. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. One thing I communicated during this session was around how difficult it is to start to tell your own stories; how uncomfortable it can be, but when you start to tell those stories truthfully, they can inspire a whole generation of people.”
Another highlight of the event was speaking with the great sculptor Gerald Griffin, he spoke on how African history inspired him to create. The sculpture he had on display was the artwork he created to show appreciation to the first Black woman Vice President, Kamala Harris. He spoke on never giving up and creating your own seat when there isn’t one. His work was beautiful! His art work “will live on forever,” Griffin said.
Overall this event was amazing and I learned so much from the artists. Their journey’s were not only inspiring but motivational, it gave a lot of people hope especially those who are dealing with mental health issues. I will definitely take the information I learned today and apply it to my life. It’s important to know where you come from and do the things that make you happy. Lastly, never give up on your dreams.
By Lyric Powell, Sophomore, NIU