Radical Making is a project that I have wanted to complete since my freshman year at Stanford.
Growing up as a young Black artist, I have always been aware of both the incredible disparities in representation of women of color in the arts and the ways that the rapid expansion of San Francisco makes it incredibly difficult for artists to sustain themselves and their practices. Despite these challenges, however, there are so many artists that continue to make work, that push past the barriers that often stand before them and persevere.
This book is a short glimpse into the lives of nine women of color in the arts that are currently living and working in the Bay Area. Through a series of interviews, photos, and drawings, I wanted to capture this piece of living history, to preserve the narratives of artists currently contributing to the culture of the Bay Area.
Weaving throughout these pages are stories of community, love, identity, strength, and creation. Each artist generously shared their story and gave me a glimpse into the unique paths that led them to where they are in their practice today. I hope that you can find something in these pages that inspires you, resonates with you, or simply moves you to learn more about the ways that artists of color are constantly changing the art world and the world at large.
Radical Making, 2020. Digital artbook. 16x20 in.
Rawley Clark’s project brings us to the here and now. As an African American artist, Rawley is concerned with race, gender, and social disparities, including representation in the arts. She reached out to the arts community to identify women artists of color currently living and working in the Bay Area, and among them interviewed nine artists (such as Marcela Pardo, Livien Yin, and Natani Notah) and photographed them in their studios. Inspired by the communication and exchange, Rawley created a group of drawings with bright colors against a black background, each loosely connected to the stories and work of one of her subjects. Her community-engaging project culminated in a digital artist book entitled Radical Making to include interview texts and photographs of the artists, paired with her own highly stylized drawings, integrating images, patterns, and texts, rich in personal narratives and symbolism.
Rawley Clark studied Art Practice with Honors and African and African American Studies at Stanford University. Through drawing, painting, and sculpture with bold uses of color and composition, Rawley’s work draws on her personal and cultural identities as a queer African American person living in Northern California, and frequently touches on subjects of femininity, touch, and consumption.
Her practice is centered around the connections between nature and the body, interdisciplinary creation, and community. She is inspired by bright colors, magic, Black culture, and the vastness of the universe.