Dover artist is $3,000 richer thanks to arts fellowship grant
There's a good chance you've peeped Theresa "T. Angela" Taylor's artwork if you've been to downtown Dover.
T. Angela contributed to the bird mural behind the Mitten & Winters CPA’s building at 117 W. Loockerman St.
The Dover artist soared into the new year $3,000 richer, thanks to an Individual Artist Fellowship grant. The grant, presented by the Delaware Division of the Arts, is intended for artists to receive advanced training, purchase equipment and materials, or fulfill other needs to advance their careers.
Of the 25 grant recipients, T. Angela is the only artist from Dover. She won in the category of “emerging artist.” Her visual art is a mix of contemporary, folk and politically conscious works. She's fond of creating pieces inspired by the Harlem Renaissance.
The Dover Post spoke to T. Angela about creating politically conscious art, why she's drawn to the Harlem Renaissance, and how she'll use her grant.
Why is the Harlem Renaissance special to you?
The Harlem Renaissance was from the 1920s to maybe the late '30s. Langston Hughes, Jacob Lawrence and James Baldwin — all these people emerged at this time. Many people from the south came to the north to get opportunities, and a lot of times it was a better place because there were nothing but Blacks living in Harlem. I'm from Harlem. Some of the greats like Cab Calloway and Ella Fitzgerald came from the Harlem Renaissance. There were also people like Eubie Blake who had rich talent.
What role does art play in social justice?
It expresses consciousness that's in the minds of people. When I created the George Floyd piece, I was mad. I was upset. I drew his picture and everyone loved it, but no one wanted to buy it.
America loves Black art, which is rooted in Black suffering. Yet it hasn't given Blacks reparations to help make them whole. What do you think of that?
It's a form of guiltiness.
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What’s your reaction to the Capitol riot?
This stuff with Trump is [white America's] fight. This isn't our fight, it's theirs. The chickens came to roost. That's what I think about it.
How will you spend your grant?
I'll use it to get my license for my art business, because I haven't done it for this year yet. There's also a residential program at Lake George in New York, which I received a grant for. If COVID slows down, I can get back into [traveling]. Also, I'm going to use money for my children's camp, to buy art supplies, and stuff like that.