“Behold, the only thing greater than yourself!” is the traditional blessing the African father bestows upon his child. This blessing can imply that an ancestor has been reborn or that the strengths of the two parents have merged; greater strength in the newborn.
My painting gives this image new meaning, as the activist father holds up his future activist daughter, already blessed with a halo, to the heavens, admitting her to both the spiritual and physical community. Using the black fist as the symbol of unity and power, the new voice will be the voice of the future of a people who have suffered mistreatment, injustice and systemic discrimination for generations.
This piece was painted in acrylic with sprinkles of twinkling glitter. I like to incorporate a minimum of two mediums for added texture and detail. Clouds of various colors form the background, contributing to the emotional and spiritual moment. In addition, I hope the viewer will gain an understanding of the ancestors who suffered for the Black Lives Matter movement, and be drawn to the ideals of respect, unity, empathy, love, truth and dignity among and for black people.
My work is focused on these ideals as I strive to honor both my background and the background of others, in the hopes that the future will be more equal and more just, like the child in my painting and for all of the children of the world.
Cherie Garces is from Portsmouth, VA and grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. She enjoys creating art in all genres, but her primary medium is acrylic and oil painting. She admires the works of female artists throughout history and is inspired by Harlem Renaissance artist, Augusta Savage. Cherie’s art is inspired by psychological, ethnic and cultural themes. She attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and later received a BFA, minoring in Art History and Psychology from Mount Saint Joseph University. She studied in Egypt, London and Paris, and received graduate credit from her studies in Havana, Cuba. Her sculpture, Isaiah, is on permanent display upon receiving the Mount St. Joseph University Annual Art Library Prize in 2007, and in 2013, she was a recipient of the Summer Fair Emerging Artist Award. In addition, she has displayed work at the Women’s Barn and is presently a Kennedy Arts Collective member. Cherie has worked with children of all ages the majority of her life and has held several positions in Cincinnati Public Schools for the past 27 years. She is currently an art teacher, facilitating creativity in hopes of inspiring her students with a lifelong creative curiosity.