LaToya Hobbs speaks to Black women with new exhibit

LaToya Hobbs speaks to Black women with new exhibit
Epiphany; By LaToya Hobbs Medium: Oil, Acrylic, and Collage on Canvas Year: 2018 (Images courtesy: LaToya Hobbs)

LaToya M. Hobbs is an impactful artist ready to make her mark, yet again, with a sequel installation called Salt of the Earth II. Hobbs, who currently lives and works in Baltimore, creates most of her masterpieces in her in-home studio. She is also a professor at Maryland Insitute College of Art (MICA).

Salt of the Earth II on display at Baltimore’s City Hall through June 19, 2019. It is a sequel to Salt of the Earth, which debuted in Syracuse, New York, in October 2018 and is intended to celebrate Black women.

Recently, rolling out spoke with Hobbs, who shared what her experience as an artist means to her.

What was your earliest engagement or experience with the arts? 

I’ve always been engaged in the arts, both visual and performance. Growing up, I sang in the choir and did liturgical dance at my church.  I also performed on the dance team throughout high school and college.  It was around the end of my undergraduate career that I shifted my focus more to visual art.

What’s your version of an artist’s life?

It’s having the time and resources to make the work I truly desire and being able to sustain myself from it financially. It’s making relevant work that touches and inspires others.

What was the vision behind Salt of the Earth II exhibition?

This series is inspired by the biblical scripture Matthew 5: 13. I see Black women as a personification of salt in the role that we play as preservers of our families, culture and communities. With all of my work, I strive to give a balanced perception of Black womanhood.

What does it mean to you to be a woman artist?

I believe the divine feminine energy we carry as women is so powerful, and [it] can manifest itself in so many ways. Although we share common experiences, whether it be through upbringing or aesthetics, there is no one way to define what it means to be a Black woman or a Black woman artist for that matter.  But as an artist, I feel it is my duty to produce images that reflect us.

How significant is this exhibition at the Gallery in Baltimore City Hall?

Salt of the Earth II is such an important body of work for me because my life embodies so many of the themes I’m exploring right now. Being a mother puts a huge demand on my time, so I have to be sure that I’m making time and space to create new work.  This is also my second solo exhibit in Baltimore and I’m really excited to share the new works I’ve developed.

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