Stepping Into Your Light: A Creative and Educational Collaboration
What does it mean to step into your light? How can you use the arts to share your voice and define yourself on your own terms? The Burchfield Penney Art Center, Just Buffalo Literary Center, and Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center are excited to collaborate on the project Stepping Into Your Light, celebrating the life and legacy of portrait artist Julia Bottoms and trailblazing politician Shirley Chisholm.
We invite you to connect with fellow young creatives and learn about the work of esteemed local portrait artist Julia Bottoms. Her exhibition at the Burchfield Penney A Light Under the Bushel showcases a new series of paintings that reimagine the presence of people of color throughout history. Bottom’s work draws inspiration from Renaissance-era portraits. It challenges how black and brown bodies have been represented (or often ignored) in historical art. Bottoms has also been selected to fabricate a sculpture of Shirley Chisholm at Forest Lawn Cemetery, where Chisholm is buried. As the first Black woman to be elected to Congress in 1968, and the first Black woman to run for President of the United States, Chisholm’s life and legacy are rooted in carving a place for her voice to be heard and to advocate for her community.
What's inspiring about both Bottoms and Chisholm is their commitment to creating space and using their platforms to drive meaningful conversations about representation, inclusion, and equity. We invite you to be inspired by their stories and use your own creative platform to do the same. Through sessions at the Burchfield Penney, Just Buffalo, and Squeaky Wheel, you’ll be encouraged to explore creative writing and multimedia video to dream big and imagine how your art can be a tool for more expansive and meaningful representation. This is a PAID opportunity to explore your creativity. Join us and let your voice shine as you share your unique story with the world. This is your chance to step into your light!