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 “EDUCATION SHOULD NOT SIMPLY TEACH WORK, IT MUST ALSO TEACH LIFE”

W.E.B. DU BOIS

I paint red, black and green! The legacy in my veins is expressed in every painting that leaves my studio. Langston Hughes said, “an artist must be free to choose what he does, but he must also never be afraid to do what he might choose.” My art is a response to the classical old master paintings hanging on the walls of art museums around the world. I study their compositions, application, and narratives, then I take that information and filter it through a BLACK lense. I want my culture to be seen. More importantly, I want my culture to see themselves as worthy, beautiful, and enough. 

My art is not as simple as a painting, my art is activism. The red is the blood of my ancestors, the black for the melanin, and the green for the land of my people. Looking at one of my paintings you will be met with a history lesson. Some symbols are easier than others to recognize, but if you look long enough they will reveal themselves to you. 

You can see a wide range of influences in my work. They include graffiti, baroque figurative paintings, comics, movies, and music. I am moved by them all, and as wild as they may seem they provide a unique experience for the viewer as they interact and view my works of art. 

I am currently at the University of North Carolina Greensboro (UNCG) working on my master’s in studio art. After completion of grad school, I hope to teach at a historically black college, while traveling the diaspora using art as documentary, mentorship, advocacy, and economic empowerment.

Contact me:
tramaine.wilkes@gmail.com


RESUMÉ:

Adelaide Fortune Holderness Graduate Fellow

Award

2022

Remix: It’s an Art-form

Exhibition

2021

University of North Carolina at Greensboro, UNCG

Graduate Student

2021 – Present

Prince Georges County Public School

Parkdale High School – Teacher (Drawing & Photography)

2018 – 2020

Enriched Schools – DC

DC Charter Schools – Substitute Teacher

2017 – 2018

Trapped Between The Lines

Author/Illustrator

2017

Through Colored Lines – Arts & Activism Tour

Artist – Curator

2016 – 2017

Art For Justice

Artist Solo Exhibition

2016

Just For Kicks

Artist Solo Exhibition

2016

Harding University

Bachelor’s of Fine Arts

2013

US NAVY – Enlisted

Mass Communication Specialist

2005 – 2009