• 1 Drexel Drive, New Orleans, Louisiana

Antwamesha Jenkins

Antwamesha-Jenkins-wild-child

Artist Statement

There’s something precious about growing up black in the country. True living, true surviving, raw existence. The little, timeworn structures may not appear to be much to virgin urban eyes, but they are engulfed with soul, culture, and history that can’t be calculated.

In the last two years I have learned and accepted a lot about myself. While figuring out who I am, it was necessary for me to remember where I came from. I want to introduce the world to who I am. I grew up in a small village that’s part of a small parish in Louisiana. Many have no idea it exists among many others, and that’s a shame because the people there are something special and should be seen as such.

Wild Child is presented the great memories of my childhood growing up black in the country. This form of living is simple, but also liberating. It captures how my environment expanded the curiosity in me and nurtured my soul. As I found myself going back to what was at a certain time everything I once knew, I saw the drastic changes. The film reveals the inevitable truth that is change. Although many things changed and a lot of things that were connected to my memory were either gone or evolving into something else, the history remained. There’s luxury in the country.

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

Wild Child

REMINISCE

Exhibit Statement

My approach to this exhibit was to prove to myself that I belonged where I am. As an artist, I struggled a lot with imposter syndrome. In high school, I took my first art class and surprised myself at how natural it was for me. The first thing we learned was contour drawings. That was something that stuck with me until this day. I had second thoughts of being an art major when I finished high school so I changed my major, and remained in Louisiana. After 4 years of being miserable in science and math classes, I switched to a visual arts major. In my return, I felt I needed to start where I left off and give an insight on where I want to be.

Reminisce became an ode to my inner child. I needed to appreciate the good memories and knowledge given to me. All of the drawings in this exhibit are one line contour drawings. The still images are from my film Wild Child. The film was shot in my home Parish where I primarily grew up. It tells of my favorite memories from my childhood and gives a thank you to my elders and ancestors for preserving this spirit in me.

“ I can’t be a singular expression of myself. There’s too many parts, too many spaces, too many manifestations, too many lines, too many curves, too many troubles, too many journeys, too many mountains, too many rivers, so many ” – Solange Knowles