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My early years as an artist, I never thought to convey an everlasting message to my viewers; however, my thoughts soon changed after witnessing so much controversy and chaos through the topic of social injustice. My experiences with racial and gender prejudice and injustice have driven me to create a modern Social Injustice art series on racism and sexism. This series portrays current events and injustices while occasionally linking and comparing them to past events. Through these pieces, I hope to inspire my viewers to want change and to eradicate the ignorance that 'racism is over' in others. Throughout my career as an artist, I wish to inspire my viewers, convey my emotions, and give them a new outlook on the world around them.

-Barriane Franks, Artist Statement

Barriane Franks is a current graduate student in Columbia University's Art History MA program. She is a 2020 graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana (B.A.) and NOCCA 2017 Visual Arts Alum. Her sophomore year at NOCCA, she began her acclaimed Social Injustice series displayed in solo shows at Cornerstone United Methodist Church’s (CUMC), St. Mary’s Academy’s, and NOCCA’s Black History Programs. Her first solo exhibition, “This is America”, showcased her Social Injustice series in the Xavier University of Louisiana Art Village Gallery. Several pieces in this series have also exhibited at the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC), the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Purdue University, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Kelwood Contemporary Art, the Alabama State University Civil Rights Museum, Ashé Powerhouse Theater, and 5 Press Gallery. Additionally, select works have been published in the CAC Teen Zine 2017 and issue 38 of Studio Visit Magazine, and three pieces won statewide in the NAACP ACT-SO competition. Her series also won “Honorable Mention for Portfolio” award in the National Scholastic Art and Writing 2017 Competition. Active in the New Orleans community, she has interned at the CAC; NOMA; and StudioBE. She was a selected artist for LUNA Fete in 2017 by the Arts Council New Orleans and 2019 at The New Orleans Jazz Museum Sound Collage and served as the official cartoonist/ illustrator for The Xavier Herald. In 2019, she worked nationally curating the “With Her Hands: Women’s Fiber Art from Gapuwiyak The Louise Hamby Gift” exhibit at the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection at the University of Virginia (UVA). In Fall 2020 and Summer of 2021, she participated in several zoom internships focused on art and art history with the Alliance of HBCU Museums and Galleries. This included discussions with various professionals in art fields such as conservation, art history, curation, and more with several colleges and universities including the Bard Graduate Center, Fisk University, Tuskegee University, the University of Delaware and Winterthur, and Yale University and arts institutions such as LACMA, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and the MET. Barriane Franks is poised to make her contribution to society, raise awareness, and evoke emotion, passion, and action as an advocate for social justice using her artistic gifts to make a difference.


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