THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD
11" X 6" X 5"
Throughout the 1860s the lives of
slaves, ex-slaves, and freedmen captured the imaginations
of some of Americas most independent artists included
Winslow Homer and Eastman Johnson. When I stumbled upon Johnsons
1863 painting of an old freedman reading his bible, I was
stimulated to adapt the image into clay. The subject with
all its intense messages reminded me that the effort to record
and interpret the Africanist presence in post civil war America
was an exercise in healing. As a 21st century artist, born,
reared, and living in Mississippi, I still believe the conflicts
inherent to human nature can benefit from the medicine of
art. This sculpture and its title serve to honor the memory
of Eastman Johnsons work by continuing to reveal our
common humanity with its strengths and weaknesses.