Robert has always had an interest in social justice, community development and the visual arts. His explorations started with a Brownie Hawkeye camera through digital imaging and Artificial Intelligence Art. He has explored film sizes and materials, printing processes from the mimeograph machine through letter press, offset to inkjet. He’s explored imagery from illustration to the pictoral and the conceptual. This body of work explores Eros and was inspired by his wife’s love of the garden and the non-violent teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King and his sermon on love – AGAPE, EROS, PHILIA.
Eros is an aesthetic love of beautiful literature and art. It has also come to mean a romantic love that we experience when we find someone that is attractive and to whom we pour out all of our love.
The importance of African Americans displaying art by and about their culture in their homes is paramount for providing identity to their children, as well as educating them on the history and heritage of the African diaspora. Hanging artwork that reflects a positive image of blackness can help foster self-esteem in children who may otherwise feel disconnected from or misrepresented by mainstream media. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for parents to teach lessons about resilience, pride and perseverance in times when many communities are facing adversity due to systemic racism.
For generations prior to us, our ancestors have been denied access into museums or galleries where they could learn more about our cultural roots; however today we have access through technology which has opened up new avenues for exploration without leaving home. By hanging artwork that celebrates various aspects of black life such as music, dance and fashion within one’s own home gives families a chance explore these topics together while also instilling values like respect for diversity within younger generations. Furthermore this helps create conversations around race relations with family members who might not understand why certain issues are important but can be exposed through visual representation.
In conclusion, hanging artworks created by African American artists on walls at home allows individuals from all backgrounds including those from minority groups, to gain insight into what makes up a unique culture. It serves both educational purposes – teaching people how different cultures interact-and personal ones – helping build self esteem among young people whose identities may be underrepresented elsewhere. Through this practice we will continue celebrating Black excellence while inspiring others towards greatness regardless of skin color.
I just received a very nice book that was just published by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: Black American Portraits. I seem to have missed the publication deadline as none of my portraits appear to be in the book.
So to keep you up to date I will be publishing an African American portrait every Tuesday. See you on Tuesdays!
Stephen Marc is a Professor of Art in the Herberger Institute’s School of Art at Arizona State University, an ASU Evelyn Smith Endowed Professor of Art (2021-22), and a 2021 Guggenheim Fellow. Marc began teaching at ASU in 1998, following 20 years at Columbia College Chicago. He received his MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University in Philadelphia, PA; and his BA from Pomona College in Claremont, CA.
Marc’s most recent book: American/True Colors (2020) addresses who we are as Americans in a polarized country with changing demographics, from an African American perspective. It was a 2021 IPPY Gold Medalist for best book in the Photography category. Marc’s three earlier books include: Urban Notions (1983), addressing the three Illinois communities where he had family ties; The Black Trans-Atlantic Experience: Street Life and Culture in Ghana, Jamaica, England, and the United States (1992); and Passage on the Underground Railroad (2009), digital composites that provide insight into the historic sites, and the institution of slavery. His Passage on the Underground Railroad is registered as Arizona’s first and only Interpretative Program of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom division of the National Park Service.
As a documentary/street photographer and digital montage artist, my focus is on politically and culturally relevant gatherings, as part of my ongoing work that collectively addresses who we are as Americans. Since 2019, I have been creating a series of digital “street story montages” along with photographs of public space events and everyday life that explore what is proving to be pivotal time in this country’s history.
American identity is a cultural combination of reality, idealism and myth. How we shape our environment, define ourselves and recognize each other as Americans is culturally complex, socially charged, historically layered, and constantly in flux. As a photographer, I am interested in the photograph as an interpretative document; and as a digital montage artist, exploring the ways and reasons to combine photographs to extend the visual narrative, considering the constructive nature of memory as an informed witness.
This selection of work focuses on the African American community, where most of the photographs come from my recent book: American/True Colors.
Robert Lloyd worked for CORE and SCLC in Chicago from 1962-1967. After working at Menlo-Atherton High School and Stanford University, in 1974 he completed an MFA in Design and Photography at California Institute of the Arts and began teaching photography at Eastern Washington University.
He founded, directed, and curated The Grand Photography Gallery at Eastern Washington University and The Lloyd Gallery at 123 Arts. From 1996-2000 he founded and published a community newspaper, the Spokane African American Voice. He retired from Eastern Washington University in 2004 after 30 years of teaching photography and digital imaging. After his retirement he photographed in South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, China and Japan. He can be reached at email@example.com and website 4comculture.com.
In 2020, the slogan was heard around the world: Black Lives Matter. I found it absurd that Black people were on a mission to get White Americans to accept the fact that Black lives matter. It is my belief that Black lives have always mattered. We only need to listen to the song as we sang it in the Civil Rights Movement, taking off from Paul Robeson’s lyrics “That’s why darkies were born”: Somebody had to pick the cotton, somebody had to plant the corn, somebody had to build a great nation, that’s why darkies were born.