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Every city I go to, I seek out local Art Galleries. I am intrigued by the way citizens in a community are able to tell their story with creativity. How are they able to interpret cultural and historical aspects of their lives? Or how are some able to work out their demons into something beautiful and captivating?

Never before in these excursions have I left a gallery feeling uplifted.  During a brief holiday, I was able to walk into a gallery where an exhibit of Kehinde Wiley’s work was on display. His method is to paint everyday people pulled off the streets of New York and cast them into roles traditionally occupied by aristocrats.

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Kehinde Wiley in his Brookly studio with his oil, “Judith Beheading Hologernes,” 2012 (photo: Chad Batka)

His portraitures cause discomfort for some, as these regal images depict those who have historically not belonged, while raising questions that interrupt our views about race, gender and social class.  For myself, it brings a realization of how I choose to see myself and my ancestral roots. I leave the gallery feeling full and in some way, quietly empowered.




by Sharyn Carroll,  Project Coordinator


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