Amplifying the impact of black art – The Daily Evergreen
The WSU Women*s Center is hosting an exhibition of black art and poetry through February 28.
“Every game lined up my way will be
Lit by the flames of my courage.
Here I pour the essence that I am
Adversity will come like a flurry of
wind, but I am the fire that oxygenates
And yes, discouraging things will start to happen
flood like a great tsunami, but I refuse
be kicked out.
The electricity running through my
the veins remain intact by any amount
of salt that could be poured on me.
I am the product of strength and fearlessness.
– Amari Skyler Lowery, Junior Psychology Major
At the WSU Women*s Center, Lowery’s poem “Burnt Matches” sits framed in the center lobby table, awaiting the next reader.
Lowery created the poem at the start of the pandemic, she wrote in her artist statement. This represents her feelings towards loss, grief, and making difficult decisions during this time.
“It describes my ability to be strong in times of adversity,” she wrote. “When I got accepted to WSU, it sparked something in me and I created this poem.”
To celebrate Black History Month, the Women*s Center is hosting an artist exhibit for black artists and poets to showcase their work. The exhibition is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from February 22 to 28, depending on their instagram Publish.
Located in the basement of Hall Wilson-Short and adorned with a banner, the entrance to the center welcomes students to the exhibition. Past the lobby where Lowery’s poem and contemporary PowerPoint reside, several works of art add vibrant color when displayed along the walls. Each artwork is accompanied by a short artist statement explaining the artwork and its creative vision.
Le’Dashia Orndorff, a pre-medical kinesiology major and assistant student coordinator of the Women’s Center program, came up with the idea and helped organize the project.
“Some of the art we have [displayed] are submissions from WAZZU students, some people from Seattle, and someone from UW,” Orndorff said. Some of the other artworks that we have featured are artworks that we got from an app called Amplifier and a lot of them are social justice artworks and they are all artworks free artwork that we can print.
A piece presented by Amplifier is an untitled work by Sophie Zarder. It rages with a message to crush Islamophobia, racism, sexism and other forms of oppression.
“The 2016 election result devastated communities across the United States,” Zarder wrote in his artist statement. “But it sparked a fire in thousands of people to make their voices heard.”
Orndorff said the center plans to dedicate a room or hallway to hold the artworks and gradually add them after the exhibit.
“We want people to be educated; we want people to see that black voices are amplified, and it’s important to us as a center that they are,” Orndorff said. “We are a resource. We are here to educate. We have to be there for the people [and] we really want people to know that.