Cheekwood - Black Arts Bash Fine Art Exhibition
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Participating Artists are listed in alphabetical order.

Aaliyah Dempsey

Familial Performance – Acrylic Etchings and Linoleum Prints

Riè is an artist of three mediums: the image, the body, and the word. Their work specializes in these mediums while establishing significant communication between the practices. Their work conveys performance narratives of gender and age, religion, and migration. They are dedicated to The Black Image, and telling stories of their African, Latin, and Native roots. Riè identifies as an Afro-surrealist.

Aniyah Osteen

Color Wheel Tree – Paint – 30inx40in

I created my painting in art class at school; it took me a total of 6 days to finish it. My artwork represents the color wheel and all the different shades of colors. I expressed this by using mixing colors to lighten and darken the colors to show all 36 colors on the color wheel.

Aubany Simpson

The Light Reveals Everything – Acrylic – 11inx14in

The lantern reveals a beautiful green eye crying, however this painting has layers because of the color of the lantern. Red usually means anger, rage, lust, passion, high energy, stimulation, and fear. But this red light is surrounded by angel wings which represent purity. These wings also have a fluorescent glitter making them glow even more. Even in anger and rage there is pure intent, controlling my other emotions like sadness that often stay hidden unless a light is shown.

Barbara Hodges

Let’s Play Ball – Mixed Media – 48inx24in
Red High Heels and Blue Jeans – Mixed Media – 18inx24in
Together We Rise – Acrylic – 24inx30in

Artist Barbara Hodges often refers to herself as an “Artistic Storyteller,” as she loves to weave a story around her art. Hodges works with paper, textiles, paint, and found and repurposed items to tell stories through imagery with strong and intelligent conceptual solutions. She feels that Art has always been a key to unlocking conversation, thoughts, and ideas that lead to revelation, reflection, and change. Hodges’ artistic style is described as bold, textural, gestural, expressive, thought provoking, and imaginative with a colorful and vibrant palette. Her artistic style ranges from memory (folk art) paintings, abstraction, traditional art, experimental art, and mixed media in 2D and 3D forms, and drip style paintings. Her art is meant to enlighten, inspire, elevate, empower, and educate the viewer.

Blessen Jolobi

Friendship – Colored Pencil and Graphite – 16inx20in

Friendship is growth. The little sister kisses the side of her brother’s head tenderly surrounded by trees of different colors. The kissing of the little brother’s head signifies the admiration and love that siblings feel for one another. This is no small feat, but these feelings have blossomed over time.

Poni – Cardboard and Oil Paint – 16inx20in

The artwork strives to show the bond that Poni has grown within herself. Throughout the years, she had not only learned to value her opinions but also herself. She now feels a sense of fulfillment that others try to shun.

Breanna Washington

Cultural Hair – Acrylic – 11inx14in

This piece shows a woman representing her heritage through her hair. The animals are in the shape of Africa, while the background shows the beautiful sunset most associated with Africa. This piece was inspired by a wonderful woman who is from Senegal.

Brittany Goodson

Overwhelming Worship – Acrylic – 30inx40in

Brittany Goodson has a desire to inspire others to want to know more about Christ. Her chosen medium is acrylic on canvas, and she focuses mainly on capturing the relationship between God and His people. You can see in Overwhelming Worship the moment right after praising God so much that woman is full of the Spirit but physically and emotionally spent. The paint strokes behind her representing the movements of her praise and the drops representing her tears. The yellow representing God’s light, blue representing her sadness, orange being the blending of the blood of Christ (red) and God’s light (yellow).

Chase Williamson

Love is in the Hair – Acrylic – 36inx38in

Envisioning Hope #2 – Acrylic – 30inx40in

I share imagery of the Black body by using nature-filled landscapes, open facial expression, and stories in ways that trigger wonder and serenity. My paintings use cast prejudices to reimagine possibilities, create new interpretations and ask more questions in effort to give viewers a window to the intricate expansiveness that lives in people of color. From our hair to our attitude, much needs to be re-examined; my goal is to create new points of entry that allow Black women to be whatever they desire to be. My early ideals of racial consciousness led me to investigate the way our identities have been imagined and shaped by societal interpretations of beauty and power. In my work, I enunciate on the intersectionality of race, gender, and class to emphasize the non-monolithic Black experience. The focus of my research interrogates “official” history and Black representation, what is overlooked and why, and the biases held by those writing, visualizing, and interpreting it. The history of our nation is permeated with societal norms that equate Blackness and the connected physical and cultural traits to a badge of inferiority, and I paint intentionally to enter this discourse. Comfortable stability is the enemy of growth, and my aim is to present a fresh perception surrounding the presentation of the Black body.

Cora Green

Cloud 9 – Oil – 14inx14in

Cora Green is a self-taught artist from Nolensville, Tennessee. At the early age of four, Cora started teaching herself how to draw by looking at comics from the Sunday paper. Her fascination with how colors and hues can trigger either a positive or negative emotion is captured in her art pieces.

DaShawn Lewis

MyNiy – Photgraphy – 16inx20in
Big Blue, Big Steppas – Photograph – 16inx20in
Past Time, Pass Time, Take Time to Pass the Times – Photograph Print in Canvas – 12inx18in

DaShawn Lewis is a self-taught photographer whose work focuses on the preservation of memories and youth arts. Born and raised in Nashville, TN, DaShawn has been drawn towards photography since childhood. Building community, making connections, and storytelling are components that he considers when making photographs. DaShawn does what he likes to call “Life Photography”. Life photography aims to document real-life events, people, or scenery in the most authentic way possible.

The primary goal is to show the importance of everyday life and everyday people.

Destiny Powell

Promise – Oil and Acrylic – 30inx48in

Destiney Powell creates vibrant portraits and figurative works with a fantastical yet relatable composition. Her work is a visual novel depicting everyday life and people with the use of color theory and theme to create a euphoric atmosphere of emotion and remembrance for the viewer.

Destiny Sadler

Petunia – Ceramic Sculpture – 4inx6in

I was instructed to create an anthropomorphic animal bust earlier this year. I wanted to choose an animal that reflected me and my personality. I want to change the narrative that black women and girls can’t be soft and delicate. I originally planned for this bust to be of a chinchilla, but the more I worked on it, the more it looked like a hamster! I liked this direction and I stuck with it. I gave my hamster a pink sweater and a light pink bow to give it human features. Soon Petunia was finished, I feel extremely confident in her design.

Dr. Megan Jordan

The Kiss – Acrylic – 30inx40in

Dr. Megan “Meg Jo” Jordan, PhD is an artist and social scientist researcher based in Nashville, TN. She creates art and conducts research to make complex topics more accessible with the aim of bridging social divides. Meg’s use of colors provides an intersectional lens of interconnected fates across race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. Meg’s work takes a hopeful approach depicting ‘people power’ and our ability for change and love. Meg’s overall work is principled in social accessibility—meeting people where they are.

Edwin Lockridge

Demigods – Mixed Media – 24inx36in

Lockridge is a Nashville native and has over 50 years of experience in fine arts, including mixed media and graphic arts. He says he has “only scratched the surface.” While Edwin regularly creates with a wide variety of tools and materials, he gathers inspiration everywhere he goes and claims the world as his preferred medium. Edwin took classes at Watkins College of Art and enjoys connecting with other artists. Edwin is hopeful for his future and art. Motto: ART AS MY WITNESS!

Erihii Nyamor

Local Nashville Artist – Hand Drawn Digital Illustration – 16inx20in

A group portrait of my favorite local Nashville artists featuring: Caffeine Dream, Phillip Maberry, Erihii Nyamor, Dexter Morton, Carlie, TC, Meg Pie, Danielle, Dayo, B.creations, Mike, Elisheba, Ben Griffith, Sam Payne, Xpayne, Woke, Preston, and Doughjoe.

Sunflower Purgatory – Hand Drawn Digital Illustration – 16inx20in

Felix Maxwell

Atlanta Jazz Fest – Acrylic – 30inx40in

Having the gift to create a beautiful piece of artwork is like having the ability to move between two worlds. When one enters this world of imaginative and inventive powers, you are sometimes guided by an unknown force. When this happens, you are not aware of what the next step will be, or how you will achieve it……so you might say that when the creative juices start to flow, then a work of art is conceived by just going with the flow. Then sometimes you can trace and completely dominate every single step in this creative process. It does not matter if you can trace every step or not. The end result is still the same: a work of art. I find myself striving to achieve my goal, which is to complete what I consider a Masterpiece. When I step into my studio and begin working on a new painting, I can see the true essence of my life on Earth as an artist and an art lover.

I enjoy the challenge of creating a new and original piece of artwork so much that if I miss one day working in my studio, then a sense of guilt sets in, and thoughts of losing my gift surface. To achieve my goal, I have chosen the media that best describes my artistic style. The style is Realism, the media is acrylic, watercolors, and oil. I have used these paints for the last 45 years in all my work. There is no limit to what can be achieved by using the media. My total concentration has been on commission and non-commission portraits. I hope when you view my paintings that you will find them as enjoyable and as stimulating as I do.

Fox Nelson

Sense of Self – Ceramic Sculpture – 9inx5in

A combination of clay, glazes and sense of self all came together to create a self-portrait. The use of sea-life, and underwater settings, capture the feeling of otherworldliness, or feeling disconnected from the world and people around you, while also adding a fanciful and whimsical air to the piece. The piece also exhibits the face of the artist, so the intention is to portray a personal depiction of where the artist stands mentally, physically and socially

Haami Yassin

Afro Boy – Oil – 9inx12in

This piece is an oil self-portrait. My favorite part of this piece is the hair which has lots of highlights to increase its texture. The name Afro Boy came from my family’s nickname for me.

Hailey James

Color Me Blue – Acrylic Paint, sticky notes, crochet (yarn) stars – 20inx20in

A statement and portrait about how others can make a person feel. More specifically, about how those we love and care about can make us feel sometimes. Much of the painting being blue portrays how that feeling of sadness can take over a person as a whole.

I Want to be a Cat – Acrylic Paint, Lace fabric, and Glitter – 16inx20in

This piece was inspired by my pet cat, Ginger, after realizing how easy cats have it. As someone who is quickly approaching adulthood, sometimes being a cat, or at least having that level of ease even for a little while, is all a person could want.

Mind, 17 – Mixed Media – 16inx20in

The experimental creative expression of a teenage girl. This piece is the final product of letting ideas flow without thinking too much about the end goal. A visual representation of peace obtained through creating.

Higgins Bond

Lexi – Acrylic – 24inx30in
Lia – Acrylic – 24inx30in
Charles Young – Buffalo Soldier – Acrylic 24inx30in
W.E.B. DeBois – Print – 16inx24in

Higgins Bond has been a freelance illustrator and fine artist for more than forty years. She earned a BFA Degree in Advertising Design from The Memphis College of Art. She has received many honors such as a medal of honor from Governor Bill Clinton, the 2007 Green Earth Award for illustrating A Place For Butterflies, and the 2009 Ashley Bryan Award for outstanding contributions to children’s literature. A Place For Turtles by Melissa Stewart with illustrations by Higgins Bond, was the winner of the 2014 Green Earth Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature writing award for children’s literature. She has exhibited work at
the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the DuSable Black History Museum in Chicago, Illinois. She is the illustrator of three Black Heritage stamps for the United States Postal Service and four stamps for the United Nations Postal Administration on endangered species. She is the first African American woman ever to illustrate a stamp for the United States Postal Service.

Many of her original images have been published by some of this country’s largest collectible plate companies. She also has illustrated more than 40 books for both children and adults and created three paintings for the Great Kings and Queens of Africa poster series for Anheuser-Busch. She is a member of the Society of Illustrators, and her clients include such notable names as: The Bradford Exchange, McGraw-Hill Publishers, Peachtree Publishers, The Franklin Mint, NBC Television, Hennessy Cognac, Essence and Black Enterprise magazines, Frito-Lay, and Columbia House.

Jadyn Hoskins

Unknown – Acrylic – 24inx30in

This piece was inspired by clouds and the concept of the unknown in spiritual warfare. This painting is hoping to show the deepest interactions with spiritual beings and what we cannot see happening in the sky.

Jes Johnson

Michelle Drumgold – Linoleum Block Print – 11inx13in each

As an artist, I am captivated by the ability to create memories in ways other than pictures and the ability to create anything in my imagination. My work is a dive into the intricate web of emotions, ideas, and experiences that shape my life. My drawing inspirations come from the media I watch, the people around me, and the places I have been, I strive to create renditions of things I have seen, to make something for someone for the emotion, and to document my life. Through my art, I aim to create things that I would like to make into something bigger than just a piece of art.

Jessica Penilton

Find Your Light – Acrylic – 18inx24in

Jessica uses many mediums of art to explore the images she sees in her mind. She has taken a multitude of classes at her school, but her favorite has been Advanced Ceramics and Painting. She’s inspired by the structure of anatomy, so she’s constantly striving to include more people in her work. She also finds inspiration in nature and other artists around her. She hopes to continue improving upon her work and expanding her knowledge of technique so she may be an encouraging figure for someone else.

Kimberly Manson

After the Rain – Archival Print – 16inx20in
Intermission – Archival Print – 16inx20in
Everyday People – Archival Print – 16inx20in

Lauren Derrick

Mothers – Colored Pencil on Wood Board – 12inx9in

This piece uses alligators as an allegory for mothers’ relationship with their daughters. Mothers and daughters tend to have a poor relationship for many reasons. However, like alligators, moms show their love for their children in strange ways.

Untitled – Digital – 12inx18in

This piece represents feminine vulnerability. The cool and vibrant colors depict a somber tone. The iris symbolizes courage all women possess.

Leroy Hodges

In the Shadow of Liberty – Acrylic – 40inx30in
New Orleans Street Jazz – Acrylic 36inx24in

Art allows me to express what I feel, think, and experience. Growing up in Meridian, I learned to appreciate the beauty of life and nature despite challenging times and events. Nature with all its beauty reflects a moment in time. Through painting, I can capture not only the beauty in nature, but also, what can be imagined, the struggle, joy, and pain of the Human Spirit. Art allows me to express my God given abilities in ways the world have not seen before, and to unlock nature’s unique shapes and Creations. I work with intense and colorful palettes – which I often describe as brilliant, poignant, bold, and textural – resulting in a vibrancy of color and subject matter. Working between a number of modernist stylistic references – from drip style painting, cubism, blue tones, color fields, and abstraction I have developed the uncanny ability to unify these divergent styles
on canvas.

Madison Moore

Until We Are Beautiful Again – Written Word – 8.5inx11in

This piece was inspired by the work of Compagnie Herve Koubi, a dance performance featured at OZ Arts. Madison captured the pain and beauty of what it means to be human. Similar to her other poems, there are references to nature, because nature really ties in what being human means.

An Inspiration of Glinda the Good Witch – Mixed Fabrics – 47inx58in

Inspired by the iconic gown worn in the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, Madison Moore created Glinda the Good Witch’s dress. This dress features a mix of different pink fabrics featuring iridescent and sparkly tulle. To represent the magical element of the original dress, Madison used a fabric embedded with hundreds of pearls with silver glitters to match. For the bodice, Madison sewed an elegant brooch to symbolize Glinda’s wand in the movie. For this project, or any of her past projects, she did not use any patterns and used her own body measurements.

Monique Wilhoit

Jahleel & Star – Short Film – Director, Writer, and Producer

Monique Wilhoit is a writer and director passionate about exploring narratives that humanize and examine emotional states of underrepresented people. Her latest short film, Jahleel & Star, is an intimate portrayal of the impacts incarceration has o families through the telling of a brother-sister’s morning journey to visit their father in prison.

In 2021, Monique was a Hurston Wright Foundation Writer’s Week fellow in the Non-fiction Writer’s Workshop for her work, My Love, My Anxiety. Much of her work is a nod to lyrical prose, which she credits to a childhood filled with escapism, song, and dance in a working-class family of natural artists.

She is a Nashville, TN transplant from Virginia and holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Virginia Commonwealth University’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture.

Nadine Shillingford

Smile – Charcoal on Paper – 11inx14in

Nadine Shillingford is a Nashville-based artist who draws inspiration from the people and animals around her. Her work consists mainly of charcoal drawings on paper, but she also enjoys occasionally creating acrylic and mixed media pieces. With the exception of a few community art classes, Nadine is self-taught and enjoys focusing on drawing eyes and hair. Nadine is a faculty member at the School of Applied Computational Sciences at Meharry Medical College and is a proud mother of a teenage daughter. Her work can be seen online at or by following her on social media @charcoalattebynadine

Neely Jordan

Unseen & Unheard – Ceramic – 10.75inx11in

The motivation for this piece is the rise in percentage rate of mental health issues within males in the U.S., more specifically, in Black males in the U.S. Over the last few years, the percentage of Black males who suffer from depression and other mental health issues have risen to 60% – 70%. In the Black community, most Black men have been accustomed to the idea that they must behave in a substantial and independent way so that they could satisfy the norms of our societies which then, unquestionably, leaves them with disparate help within the medical community. Men very seldom get the chance to be vulnerable and express their feelings without being judged or looked at as “weak.” This piece symbolizes how a Black man is seen to be strong-willed yet can display minor signs of apprehension.

William “Ransom” Scott

Say Her Name – Digital – 12inx12in

The artist based this piece of the horrendous police brutality that targets and diminishes the Black community. This piece specifically focuses on brutality against Black women, featuring the names of Black women and girls who’ve lost their lives in the figure’s hair. This piece is for all the souls who have lost their lives due to unlawful police brutality

Raymarah Watson-Cunningham

Trust me, I’ve got you – Ink – 12inx16in
Put me out – Ink – 12inx18in
I’m Afraid My Stars Never Shine as Bright as Yours – Oil – 36inx40in
You Fell Like Rain – Ink – 11inx14in

Raymarah’s mind is a traveler that walks with her heart and soul in its pockets. She cannot call a creation her own without placing a part of herself within it. Her creations derive from who she is, what she’s done, and what she’s seen. Her forms and present figures and expressions work to tell these tales. She has always allowed her mind to leave the ground in hopes of touching beyond the sky. Still, reality grounds her. Instead of letting it get her down, she uses it. She continues to let it shape herself and her mind. For her heart and soul cannot soar with her mind on the ground.

Rhonda Shaw

Cocoa – Acrylic – 20inx24in
Chaka – Acrylic – 18inx24in
One Love – Acrylic – 18inx24in

I’m a self-taught artist, born and raised in Nashville, TN. I’m a single mom of an awesome young man for whom I am building an empire. I love God, and the people He has placed in my life. I am the owner and operator of The Moving Canvas Mobile Paint Party, and the creator of all Artbyrhonda products and merchandise. The Moving Canvas is a mobile Paint Party, in which I create a painting/theme, bring all painting supplies (paint, pre drawn canvases, brushes, easels, pallets, aprons, etc.) and throw a paint party. I instruct on a personable level, which is more intimate because I am in your home/space surrounded by you and your loved ones, family, friends, or coworkers.

Serenity Safeeullah

Just Another Moment – Acrylic – 15.75inx19.5in

This piece was made to symbolize a young black man posing at a gas station. This piece was inspired by a photograph I once saw and symbolizes a glimpse of just another moment in the streets. To help with the symbolization, the colors pink, red, and purple are used. Purple to show royalty, red to show desire and passion, and pink to show love for being alive in the moment.

Shadale Smith

Rise – Mixed Media – 30inx40in

Come together.
Rise above from one position to another.
Stand in truth through pure heart and love.
Overcome. Prosper. Peace

Nurture Valley – Mixed Media – 16inx16in each

What do you see, hear, and speak of yourself?
Nurture your mind with what is true.

My art is my story. I will continue to tell it, remain a light, sparkle everywhere I go, and remind others to confidently shine bright like the diamonds they truly are. I like to believe everyone has a purpose and a promise. We just have to be brave enough to go through the rainfalls, winds, sunshines, surrender to it all, and bloom!

Sheala Smartt

༻Reality܀Driiive༺ – Digital – 13inx19in

The artist finds the current transhuman state of the world intriguing, particularly in their southern hometown, where historical remnants coexist with modern technology like automated ordering systems in fast-food restaurants. Through their artwork, they aim to capture the surreal feeling of society’s gradual transition into a neo-technological future, where people strive to seamlessly integrate technology into every aspect of their lives. The artist’s generation grapples with philosophical questions about their purpose and society’s purpose, emphasizing societal issues like gender and relationships over the abuse of consumers and unregulated business practices of tech companies, which they find disheartening. They believe their generation’s strong inclination toward self-expression is influenced by online avatars, character customization in video games,
and vibrant expressions in anime. They lament the overlooking of crucial issues by world leaders in favor of minor concerns. The rapid advancement of technology leaves the artist feeling like a deer on a road, navigating numerous new events, unaware of their final destination.

Since the outbreak of Covid, the necessity to explore online connections has led to widespread adoption beyond its initial small user base of homebodies and gamers. The artist observes that while physical distances between people have grown, their shared experiences have made their minds more alike. They wonder about the future of society as the stagnant energy from the pre-Covid era gets replaced with new dynamics.

Sosy Seay

The Marriage of Love – Acrylic – 16inx12in

This art is a glimpse of my heritage and culture. It’s of an Ethiopian wedding, the celebration ceremony. It pictures the love and happiness of the couples to the left. I used acrylic paint. The big colors show the types of colors, romantic young love, religious love, friendship love, and the love of community and family. These things are important in your life and seeing that marriage is a milestone and a celebration of a life of love was the perfect illustration.

Sydel Petty

A Thousand Strokes of Paint for a Thousand Unspoken Words – Acrylic – 24inx30in

Sydel Petty is a lifelong evolving artist. Currently a student at Belmont University’s Watkins College of Art, she is working on earning a degree in Studio Art. She always carries a sketchbook with her preferring to dabble in portraiture and romanticized anatomy.

Sydney Jamison

Still Looking – Acrylic – 11inx14in

Biology is the origin of all life and the lens through which I view my experiences. Using acrylic paint, I strive to create contrast, texture and ultimately spark interest in various biological scientific fields. As a graduate student focusing on biology and cells in the body, I make my art to explore different areas of biological studies from a visual perspective, ranging from immunology to marine biology. My art is for those who wonder about everything we don’t know.

Taylor Arnold

Her Features Appear Even in the Darkness – Ceramic – 10inx12in

As she is thinking about her unique facial features, she pictures her shadow at night. This image represents her shadow at night. Embrace your appearance and appreciate your uniqueness.

Shopping on Rodeo Drive – Ceramic – 9.5inx8.5in

She loves walking down Rodeo Drive on a hot, summer day…Her Christian Louboutin shoes clack as she clutches her handbag and walks into one of her favorite stores, Louis Vuitton.

Victoria Oserei

In 2023?! – Acrylic, Air-Dry Clay, and Handmade Braids – 16inx20in

Black women have expressed themselves differently with cultural hairstyles for centuries. They can have an afro one day then long boho braids the next. It is quite known, but some people still ask if they grew it naturally whilst the black woman literally has long, bright red braids that are past her knees. Common sense is not that common apparently, so sarcasm is the answer.

Victoria White

Alex – Marker, Pencil, and Pen – 12inx9in

Victoria creates multi-media artworks inspired by and in an attempt to illustrate her life-perspective as a Black girl. Through her uses of unconventional colors, shapes, and dimensions, Victoria wants to create works of art that skillfully reimagine what the world around us can look like. Her art–especially her use of bright colors–defines what society believes can be reality, in an attempt to reject the conventional portrayal of the Black experience in America.


Bull’s Eye – Spray Paint on Wood Panel – 24inx24in
Woke King, Sad King – Spray Paint on Wood Panel – 24inx48in
Ecosystem #9 – Mixed Media on Canvas – 24inx36in
Ecosystem #10 – Mixed Media on Canvas – 36inx36in

As I focus on the Black experience, I find inspiration in mixing fantasy storytelling with an African spiritual system that is known to some and obscure to others in American culture. My intention with these works is to construct a story inspired by this system that could expand the viewer‘s idea of what is possible. This collection and Afrofuturism are ultimately about accepting and adapting to change.

Zoe Simpson

Ophelia – Oil on Canvas – 36inx24in

Zoe Simpson reimagines the tragedy of the timeless character Ophelia. Inspired by magical realism, the artist depicts Ophelia in shallow water, deceased yet uncorrupted by the environment around her. The character represents spoiled innocence, lost potential and systemic neglect, a harrowing reality sparing no woman.

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