Talk us through the Artists For Black Lives initiative
Artists For Black Lives is an initiative born out of necessity. When George Floyd’s murder highlighted yet again the systemic racism still alive in our country, none of us could sit still. I always thought I was aware of the injustice going on around me, but it finally clicked that being aware is not enough. I wasn’t sure what I could really do other than donating some money, and in this unsteady, and honestly scary, world of COVID I could only afford to donate so much. So I asked a few friends if they would be interested in coming together to make some art and sell it, to then donate the proceeds to an organization that is trying to fight the issue. A surprising amount of my friends were excited about this and we ended up getting enough artworks for the first round of pre-sales pretty quickly! With the help of The Mill we were able to find a printing partner who would print at cost for us, and we are getting ready to start shipping out the orders! So far we have raised almost $2,000 from over 50 orders!
All of the profits will go to support the Black Lives Matter movement, which charities are you working with and how has the fundraising been going so far?
We are donating 100% of the proceeds right now to Black Girl Film School. They are an AMAZING 501(c)3 non profit education foundation that offers quality face to face and online film production programs for young, Black, females interested in pursuing a career path in film and TV.
Which type of artists or designers have contributed and could you comment on some of the pieces of art included?
We have so many incredible, beautiful artists that came together for this. Most are in the motion design industry, and many are from The Mill. The pieces made are so powerful, and so different, but all with the heart of bringing people together to raise awareness and spark some change. Many have creative interpretations of the fist raised up in the air, which all play off of the BLM logo. Patrick Knip’s piece of the dove on the scale was inspired by the slogan “No justice, no peace.” Showing that if peace and justice are both aligned, the scales are even. Joey Chu and Stephy Tian collaborated on a piece together that reads “Yellow power supports Black power.” It shows two girls riding a panther and a dragon reaching for one another’s hands to show solidarity, support and love. My piece is the dove in a stained glass window. I have always thought of stained glass as something that shows history and that often is history. The dove is there to represent the peace that we all so desperately want to bring to the world around us, and to history from now on.
Below L-R: Patrick Knip, Joey Chu and Stephy Tian, Anastasia Skrebneva
The Instagram page for the project is @artists4blacklives, how has it been received by the public so far?
It seems to be quite well received! All of the sales have been from social media interaction, and most of it seems to be driven from people viewing our page and going on the site. Along with posting art, we also try to highlight some educational sources for people to check out, and we have good engagement with this.
How do you see this project evolving over time?
A couple different ways! I hope to keep this going and see a few rounds of different artists and prints made. We are currently in chats with Jayda Denise Imanlihen, the founder of Black Girl Film School, on how we can further our partnership aside from just monetary donations.
You can find out more about Artists For Black Lives on their Instagram page @artist4blacklives and discover more about Black Girl Film School at @blackgirlfilmschool. Browse and order from Artists for Black Lives here.
Top L-R: Anastasia Skrebneva, Tim Devlin, Ed Laag, Cody Samson, Joey Chu & Stephy Tian
Bottom L-R: Leah Evans, Greg Rubner, Patrick Knip, Sasha Vinogradova, Sherry Kuo