Ariel Dannielle, 29, grew up in metro Atlanta seeing other Black people day in and day out. But her art and art history lessons at the University of West Georgia almost never included Black creators. She doesn’t remember seeing the work of Black artists on museum visits as a kid.
“The first artist who I remember who resonated with me was Frida (Kahlo). I went to the University of West Georgia and — like, no shade — but I really didn’t learn about Black artists at all while I was there. I connected with Frida, wholly, because she was a woman of color. She started me thinking like self-portraits can be a thing.” she said. “I didn’t realize it until I was in college that that’s what I wanted to do.”
“But I do think any artist, no matter your race, should be able to paint or create what you want to create. But I think it is hard as a Black artist because history will show that Black art very much was surrounded by and about revolution and progression and resistance.” Her paintings are made to depict a relatable black livelihood “That painting is just an example of being in the moment of getting ready for a night out. It’s really just that simple.” she added.