By Casey McLerran
TULSA, OK — Tulsa Artist Coalition will feature the work of Charica Daugherty in April with her Black Victorians series. The series features paintings by Daugherty inspired by photographs of black people living in the Victorian era.
Doors open at 6 p.m. for the opening reception on April 5th at TAC (Tulsa Artist Coalition).
Black Victorians will be showing through April 27th with an artist talk hosted by Daugherty every Thursday for the duration of the series starting with a preview on Thursday, April 4th at 7p.m.
“My Black Victorian series of oil portraits is inspired by historical photographs and stories of Black Americans and Europeans in the 19th to early 20th century. The Victorian era is generally understood to encompass the reign of England’s Queen Victoria from 1837-1901. However, for the purpose of this series, the term “Black Victorians” encompasses Black people living in Great Britain, the United States, and France during the Victorian era to the Gilded Age. In researching this series, I was struck by the very existence of people who looked like me living in this time. As I read their stories, I was drawn to paint them and present through imagery this other part of Victorian society. In creating this series, I share my own story…” say Daugherty in her artist statement.
“During my final stages of finishing my masters in education, I came across some images that further affirmed my beliefs and sparked a new passion in me. I discovered photographs of Black Europeans and Americans ranging from the Victorian era to the Gilded Age. I found a society of Black people who did more than assimilate into Victorian society. They expanded what black and Victorian culture looked like. Thus they proved that cultural identity and personal identity cannot be confined or solely defined by skin tone. This sparked a fervor in me to further immortalize these people through the power of the portrait.
Consequently, the aim of this body of work is to invite viewers to reexamine their idea of what 19th to early 20th century Victorian society looked like and thereby resist any notion that would put race and culture in a box. My hope is to inspire people to celebrate, and re-calibrate, the beautiful complexity of human identity.”
Visit TAC for Charica Daugherty’s opening reception on First Friday or during their regular hours in the month of April to view this moving testimony to the power of culture and the grace of discovering yourself in history.