What do you see? I see five beautifully dressed black women walking up the steps to enter a building. Look at their coats, heals, and hair. Absolutely glamorous. But I also don’t see clearly. The painting is blurry. Not like when the figures are in motion, but it looks like the image is a layer with another image. In this artwork, the painting was layered with the exact same image. The artists shifted the second image which was created on silk with toner to give that fuzzy, not in focus look. The unclarity of the artwork image might be to remind the view this history might be fading away.
The sketch prompt is to take a photograph of an image you don’t want the memory to fade away. Print the image twice. One on paper and the other on a different material, tracing paper or fabric. Line the pictures up a bit off-center to give your artwork an unclear image. Why did you select to photograph your subject and make the picture look blurry?
Time to TALK. One of the prominent women in the artwork is Ruby Blackburn. She was born in 1901 in Georgia and educated at Morris Brown College. She owned her own Beauty Shop in Atlanta and was active in the community and civic affairs. She organized the T.I.C. (To Improve Conditions) Club and many other organizations including the Georgia League of Negro Women Voters. I wonder what the women were going to fight for the day the original photograph was taken? The artists found the photograph at the Auburn Avenue Research Library Collection, where they received permission to use it as a reference in their artwork.