DiverseArts Culture Works Artist Spotlight

Due to our current artist in residence, Beth Consetta Rubel’s, fast approaching closing ceremony (I can’t believe August 1st has already come so fast!) I thought I’d do a post dedicated to Consetta’s work.

While I enjoyed all of the pieces she has currently up on display here at the New East Arts Gallery — the scathing political commentary found within her portraits of President Obama and Trayvon Martin I found to be particularly powerful — I couldn’t help but be especially taken with her simpler pieces done with gouache and colored pencil on paper bags instead of regular canvas.

As someone who has had the privilege of never having to experience the “Paper Bag Test” firsthand I obviously cannot speak personally about this unfortunately common phenomenon, but the way in which Consetta’s portraits re-appropriate areas often denied to black folks due to racial profiling and celebrates the diversity of black bodies of all hues by using paper bags as canvases for her portraits really hit home.

Hopefully this post will encourage you to come by the gallery if you happen to be in town this weekend some time soon, so you’ll be able to see Consetta’s gorgeous artwork in person! : )