The inclusion of black artists is essential to expanding our community’s narrative.
Art is a powerful force. It has the ability to share our stories and shift narratives. However, throughout history, Black and other marginalized communities have been erased from the art world. Their presence is lacking in major auctions, museums, galleries and art circula. While artists of color are slowly being integrated into local scenes, many are still fighting for their place in the fine arts. Supporting artists of color is vital to providing a full narrative to the human experience and understanding one another.
Listed below are some of the Black artists residing in Tacoma that you can support.
Adika Bell is a mural and traditional painter. His style fluctuates between portrait realism, surrealism and pop art and despite the style, he always uses vibrant colors to catch one’s eye. He is one of few mural painters to have worked on the “Justice For Manny” on S. 11th St. in Hilltop. His work can be found at http://adikabellart.com.
As a puppet maker, stop-motion creator and illustrator, Jeremy Gregory produces whimsical art. Between volunteering as an art mentor for a Seattle At-Risk Program called “Urban Art Works” (formerly “Panels For Progress”), City of Tacoma’s “Public Art: In-Depth” program and teaching graphic design to high schoolers at Tacoma School of the Arts in the past it is clear he is well connected with the community. He also hosts a podcast called “Candy Teeth Radio” where he and his friend Geoff interview various artists and musicians across the PNW. Gregory’s website hosting their podcast and art showcases is http://candyteethcreative.com.
Born in Oakland, California and raised in Hilltop, Tiffany Hammonds is a mural artist and painter who focuses on community-based projects. She began her career in mural work at age sixteen. She has participated in collaborations with the Fab-5 HQ, a nonprofit organization empowering youth through artistic expression located here in Tacoma. In 2019, she created a “faces of the nation” project, in this she draws brightly colored faces repetitively but never the same. You can find her art at https://tiffanyhammonds.com.
Darrell McKinney is an agricultural designer. His art speaks on the complexities of race, politics and social structures through interconnectivity. His work has been featured in numerous exhibits such as Salone Del Mobile in Milan and Venice Architecture Biennale in Venice. His work can be found at https://www.darrellmckinney.com/.
Porter is a Tacoma-raised songwriter, fine artist and mural painter whose paintings primarily focus on women of color in a surreal or manga-influenced setting using watercolors. For his newest album, he collaborated with OldMilk to create “Grey.” This album is available through his website for ten dollars. His work can be found at http://perrypaints.com.
Christopher Paul Jordan
Christopher Paul Jordan is a sculptor, designer and painter whose pieces serve — as stated on his website — as “time-capsules for displaced folks to hold, bury, connect and reintegrate our stories.” In his paintings, he merges digital art with photography and paints to create unique pieces. He has been featured in exhibitions across the coast and his public art projects can be found among Seattle’s sound transit stations as well as the Washington State Convention Center. He is currently the Community Integrated Design Lead for Fab-5. His work can be found on http://chrispauljordan.com.
While these are just a few of the black artists in our Tacoma community, there are numerous other black and other ethnic artists whose stories are ready to be heard.