What Does An Artist Look Like?… This

Black creations enhance the nation. Black creators are the connectors between realms, and I am grateful to be available to receive all of the magic. All the KC creatives passionately and humbly share pieces of themselves every day. Their recognition on high accord is past due.

As a student of poetry, song, and visual art, I believe it is necessary to know the behind the scenes. Who are the artists and what do they stand for?

This question is asked for minds like mine that need to know the who to better comprehend the what. This question is asked for the exposure of black artists. Art is communal, forever nurtured by each person’s love for it. Abby Oyesam and Dominick are two of the channels we should lean into in our Kansas City community. 

I met Abby in high school, and I gravitated to her because she exuded excellence and an energy of knowing. Knowing what she is capable of. I’ve admired her art through school art shows and her social media. She graduated and headed to Kansas City Art Institute where she still studies at. That was no surprise as she is an art genius in my eyes and many others based on her successes and platforms’ reach. 

She is a visual artist including drawing, painting, and printmaking. She is known to draw heavily detailed portraits from imagination and muse. She has grown from sketchpads to prints on clothing and canvases. Her art is pure.

Abby | (IG: AOYESAM | TWITTER: Skinnylotus | Website: www.aoyesam.xyz)

When I met Dominick formally, I had already watched him perform and invited him to perform at an event I was hosting. His talent and what was expressed through it was enough for me to know he is true. I was at an Open Sessions KC event sitting in the front row. He was the featured poet; however I was unfamiliar, just there to absorb the energy and listen to beautiful poetry. His entire set gave me goosebumps, and there was no falsehood in the words he spoke. He conducted the crowd and we moved with him. 

Dominick has claimed and dominated the titles lyricist, poet, and “rapper”. His stages vary and his messages carry. His art is pure.

Dominick | IG: Suns_Treasure & Huti_Yoga

Learning more about the artists creates room for better connections with their art. I took it upon myself to open that door, and here is what was on the other side.

What attracted you to the arts?

Abby: “Art classes were always my favorite when I was younger. I liked the feeling I got when I made something beautiful warranting a positive response from others.”

Dominick:

“I wouldn’t say attract. When you have an internal rhythm you simply have to do something with it.”

“My natural interest in words, coupled with a sound that makes me want to move is how I’ve been able to offer my perspective.”

When curating projects/pieces, how do you intend for your art to impact the black community?

Abby: “I want to create new narratives about what blackness in art looks like. Most museums and galleries have been getting on code since the Black Lives Matter movement became mainstream, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

“There’s a lot of respectability politics in the art world. I think people want to see black art and interpret it in a way that is palatable to whiteness but I’m more interested in creating authentic narratives in my work based on my life.”

Dominick: “I use (he)Art to teach. I see that it is both my simple and dynamic way to program the mind. My position is that in a “cultural” way of thinking, certain concepts and philosophies should not exist in the minds of the people without an understanding that corresponds to nature. This is an act of correction.”

Your message to the community:

Abby: “I’m excited for the future now that the world is finally waking up to recognize the greatness that young black contemporary artists are creating. I think a good reminder for other young people, myself included, it’s important to create work and use your voice to spread the message that is meaningful to you, not the work that you think you *should* be making.”

Dominick: “More than we approach purpose with career ambitions, monetary gain, “helping our/the people”, chasing fame or seeking to be influential, take an in-depth look at the impression of your genetics by listening, studying and reviewing your personal family history and what your bloodline has ACTUALLY DONE. And then move from there with getting your affairs in order. That is righteous action.”

Now you must understand why I enjoy them.

Introducing the KC Black Arts Project: Discovering Artists in One of the Nation’s Most Thriving Arts Scenes