The year 2020 will be remembered as a year of constant change and inner reflection. It was those concepts that inspired Richmond-based mixed-media artist Frankie Slaughter to create a new piece titled “Spring Twenty Twenty” that now resides on the second floor of the Drysdale Student Center at the University of Lynchburg.
Board of trustees member Stewart Coleman donated the artwork to the University. Slaughter, a Lynchburg native, said she wanted the piece to “appeal to our common humanity.”
“A unifying theme in my art is a pursuit of what lies beneath the surface. Even in my abstract paintings, I continuously mask and reveal,” she said. “While I do occasionally use text, my work is rarely this literal. In this large-scale print, my visual language is the backdrop for words and phrases with double entendres because I felt an imperative to respond in this direct way, with a clarity that is not suggested or emerging but, rather, that is squarely present, in this day and time.”
Slaughter’s previous art focus was designing original jackets, jewelry, and accessories. She was named one of Richmond Style Weekly’s 2015 Women in the Arts Honoree and has served as a juror and advisor for a number of community events, including Wearable Inlight at the 1708 Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Fashion, and participated as a mentor and visiting instructor for various local high school groups, universities, and nonprofit organizations.
Slaughter will participate in a virtual Courageous Conversation panel with five other artists at 6:30 p.m.Tuesday, Feb. 23, to speak about art and the impact of advocacy and justice.
Vice President for Inclusive Excellence Dr. Robert Canida II was impressed with Slaughter’s piece.
“Slaughter’s piece is so important to the University of Lynchburg because it reminds us that although we as an institution can breathe and have courageous conversations on race, discrimination, and injustices, there are hundreds, thousands, and millions of individuals who can’t breathe. It also reminds us that we still have work to do in order for us to truly be academically, socially, culturally, and personally excellent,” he said.
Tuesday’s Courageous Conversation is part of Lynchburg’s Black History Month events and a collaboration between the Office of Inclusive Excellence, the Inclusive Excellence Council, the President’s DEI Task Force, the Teaching and Learning Center, and the Johnson Health Center.