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 graduate of Columbia University(MA), Xavier University of Louisiana (BA) and a NOCCA 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, StudioBE, and Antenna Works Gallery. 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. Along with her artistic works, she is equally passionate about her scholarly endeavors in art history. She’s engaged in curatorial internships at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and Kluge-Ruhe Art Collection of the University of Virginia (UVA). In 2019, at the latter, she worked nationally co-curating the “With Her Hands: Women’s Fiber Art from Gapuwiyak The Louise Hamby Gift” exhibit and presented her research at The Leadership Alliance National Symposium in Hartford, CT, now published in the exhibition catalog. From Fall 2020 to summer 2021, through the Alliance of HBCU Museums and Galleries, she interned virtually with the following universities and arts institutions: the Bard Graduate Center, Fisk University, Tuskegee University, the University of Delaware/Winterthur, Princeton University, Yale University, LACMA, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and The Met. That same summer, she interned with Prospect New Orleans. In Spring 2023, she intered in The Robert Lehman Collection’s Curatorial Department at The Met. Through her artistic and academic works, 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.