Keviette Minor Keviette Minor is a Black creative based in Los Angeles who is originally from Santa Rosa, California. She is currently a sophomore majoring in Design at USC. Keviette is a self-described introvert that has been drawing since she was 2 years old. From childhood into young adulthood, she has used art as her voice. Her work centers around telling the stories of her life, her experience as a Black woman in America, and any issues she has deemed significant that have impacted her directly or indirectly. Black people are at the forefront of Keviette's composition, as representation is extremely important to her.
How would describe your art and what themes do you explore in your work? I would describe my work as portraiture and experience documentation because I have always been into storytelling. Also, I'm always talking about high school because I feel like that is where I grew the most as an artist. I was really struggling to try to find what my style was. Whenever someone would look at my work they would be able to see the style, but I personally wouldn't. During that time I was still trying to think about which way I wanted to go with my art.
I was a freshman in high school when I joined the Black Student Union. Up until that point I had been in predominantly white schools. In elementary school, there weren't that many Black students. In middle school, I was one of five in the whole school. So I wanted to get involved in my community. When I initially got to high school there was not a Black Student Union. There was a junior college that was right next door and the Black Student Union from the college came over to our high school and helped us start one.
Being a part of Black Student Union, I started paying more attention to the news and that's when police brutality was really coming to the forefront. We would have discussions about how it has always been happening and the only difference was the cameras. It made me very passionate about educating people through my artwork. I did a lot of pieces informed by social justice, the need for social justice. I focused my work on the experiences of different Black people. Senior year my AP Studio Art concentration was the Black Experience. What artists have influenced you? In my sophomore year of high school, I was introduced to Kara Walker, Kehinde Wiley, and Kerry James Marshall. Kara Walker was the first artist I was introduced to and she had the greatest influence on my work because I started using silhouettes too. My introduction to these artists was important. At that time anime was very popular with everyone around me. But, for me, the anime thing wasn't working and I wasn't clicking with it. My classmates were really obsessed with it, I just never got to that point and I needed to find something else. Kara Walker was that something else. She is also a Black female artist, so that representation really helped me find which direction I wanted to go in with my work.
What mediums are you looking forward to playing with? The summer before I came to USC I participated in a program called Art Start that is similar to LA Commons. I worked with them teaching younger artists how to complete commissions and create art for the city. Through that program, I learned how to do mosaics. It was like putting a puzzle together. At that time it was very therapeutic. I was getting ready to leave for college and I was nervous because I am very close to my parents and siblings. All of the ear I was really dreading having to leave home and learn how to do things on my own. I did not feel ready because I still couldn't even drive. So how I was supposed to learn how to do everything else?
The Art Start project was beautifying a children's memorial near a lake in Santa Rosa. It was a circular bench that honored all the families who had lost a young child or child with a disability. It did not look like a memorial for children it just looked like a cemetery. Art Start wanted to liven it up and they started taking commissions from families who wanted to remember their children in a colorful way. Different parts of the bench were blocked off for different families. Sometimes the families were invited to help with the mosaics, so it became a really personal thing. The experience inspired me to want to continue working with mosaics.
Promise Zone Arts is a two-year, multi-neighborhood cultural asset mapping and activation initiative led by our wonderful partners at the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. The Alliance for California Traditional Arts is also a partner in our effort to identify and further the social and economic impact of artists, cultural practitioners, tradition bearers, and sites.
With input from locals, we aim to illuminate the value of neighborhood cultural assets and make the cultural treasures identified visible and recognized as essential in making Central Los Angeles more sustainable and livable. Promise Zone neighborhoods specifically include Pico-Union, Westlake/MacArthur Park, Koreatown, Thai Town, Little Armenia, East Hollywood and Historic Filipino Town among others.
In honor of Black History month, a team of LA Commons youth artists from in and around Exposition Park worked with lead artist Bijan Machen and youth mentor Kevitte Minor, featured above, to explore social justice issues through art at USC. The body of work they developed over the course of 3 months was inspired by the phrase, "Taking A Stand." Join us at CAAM Friday, February 8, 2019, to celebrate their efforts and the legacy of African Diaspora's impact on the world. This event is a perfect opportunity to participate in a new tradition of imagining and constructing vibrant Black Futureswhile honoring Black History.
Our Executive Director Karen Mack has been selected as the 34th Annual Women of the Year Arts and Media Honoree by LA County Board of Supervisors and Commission for Women!
Every year the Los Angeles County Commission for Women honors women who are women's rights advocates, exemplary role models, dedicated to creating social and economic change or who are otherwise making waves in their profession.