My Literary Inspiration

I first became aware of the work of Langston Hughes as a high school student at duPont Manual Magnet High School (thank you Mrs. Baker). During that time I began reading and analyzing The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain. Hughes' essay stresses the significance of being an individual artist by embracing one's roots.

To create art that explored my identity, my heritage, my world meant being vulnerable and I was seeking courage to express myself to others who did not know what it was like to be an African-American female artist. While race is indeed a socio-political construct racism (as an organized system) can be a very real experience. Hughes' essay encouraged me to be brave as an artist and to openly explore my heritage and the effects of capitalism/colonialism unified into a common theme of identity, double-consciousness, and transcendence. This includes current work in virtual 3D space.

>> Nettrice R. Gaskins, Self-Portrait. duPont Manual High School, 1988. © All rights reserved.

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