‘I have created nothing really beautiful’: Augusta Savage’s Practice
Augusta Savage, an artist who built a practice that included care for Black communities, artists, and culture, expanded the definition of artist. Savage’s proclamation that she did not create anything really beautiful offers a roadmap to her legacy that extended beyond her sculptures to the social role of the artist. Savage’s ‘New Negro’ portraits set the foundation for the world building that continues to have an impact today. This talk will offer an introduction and re-introduction to one of the most important artists through a discussion of her sculptures, mentoring, and imagining a world where Black artists, and Black people as whole, would be valued for their talent and humanity.
Dr. Jeffreen M. Hayes merges her administrative, curatorial and academic practices into her cultural leadership of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity and access, Jeffreen develops adaptable approaches for community participation. She has extensive curatorial experience and some of her projects include SILOS, Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman, AFRICOBRA: Messages to the People, AFRICOBRA: Nation Time and Embracing the Lens: BlackFlorida project. Jeffreen also speaks and writes about art history, Black art, and arts activism. She is a TEDx speaker and recently spoke about ‘Arts Activism in Simple Steps.’ Due to her work in advancing an equitable art world, Jeffreen was named as a 2019 ROOT 100 honoree.