Attendees of a southern college are invited to join a creative club — unless they’re Caucasian.
At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an art organization has been formed. Speaking to school paper The Daily Tarheel, two-dimensional art and design overseer Eliyambuya Baker describes the biweekly endeavor:
“We like to do a different medium for each meeting. So maybe it’s oil pastel, it’s watercolor, maybe it’s drawing. It just [gives] people a chance to try something new and…access to materials they maybe wouldn’t have had before.”
The alliance has an Instagram page on which it posts members’ work. “That way,” Eliyambuya says, “they can just get more traffic coming to their art and (it can) just put them out there for the world.”
The club is called “Earthtones,” and it hit the spot for a student musician named Eteni:
“When I came to UNC, I was really trying to look for my people, specific people that enjoy the stuff that I do. Earthtones has really helped me find people that are like me, that really like expressing themselves through art, connecting with each other in art, talking about it and using it to grow or to help ourselves or whatever it is that we use art to do.”
Executive team member Lucien Boileve points to the power of openness:
“Depending on how much you want to open up in your art, that can be very personal.”
The club’s openness and colorfulness only go so far: It’s only for artists who aren’t white.
“I think the idea of Earthtones is just to celebrate the brown people in our community and just pay homage to the beautiful color spectrum we create.”
More from the school paper:
The all-BIPOC art collective, which officially started last fall, hosts…community meetings and “paint-and-sips”…
Cutting out one color is curious. Art might be said to be the ultimate realm of free expression, but the group’s still trying to stick to a color scheme.
Chapel Hill is far from alone:
The Earthtones signup sheet requests each joiner’s pronouns.
And the group looks forward to exploration:
The eARThtones art collective is an environment for artists of color to collaborate, grow, and practice our craft together. We are an atmosphere that cultivates a community free from tokenization, filtering, or exploitation. We’re creating a living, breathing, network of artists of color to explore creative expression and learn from each other.
If you’re an artist or creative of color looking for this kind of space, fill out the form below to get involved!
Will Earthtones greatly benefit from an absence of People of the Pale? Maybe; back to The Daily Tarheel:
While the organization is one of several art-centric clubs at UNC, [Lucien] said that it is difficult to express oneself as a person of color in other clubs or spaces that are predominantly white.
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