DESANDE R: PRINTMAKING, POWER, AND HERITAGE
May 16 – July 25, 2021
Exhibit Sponsor: Sidwell Friends B&B
Exhibit Cosponsor: Toni Smith
Members’ Preview Reception: Saturday, May 15 | 6:00 – 8:00 pm
Preview Reception Admission: $5.00 | Cedarhurst Members – free
Art Chat and Printmaking Demo with artist DeSande R
Thursday, July 8 – 6:00 pm during TNL | Shrode Art Center
EXHIBITING ARTIST: DeSande R
There’s a cartoon that hangs in front of my desk on the wall. It shows a cat painting himself as a tiger. That’s how I feel when I am painting myself. Seeing into the mirror and wanting to depict my highest potential. Through the years, I have done many self-portraits in oil. They mirrored particular times in my life. The artworks in oil paint gives them an eternal resonance. I have painted myself as a recovering secretary, a caretaker, a deva, woman in red, and as Rembrandt van Rijn (a master painter). Doing the self-portraits was not a narcissistic endeavor. Models are hard to come by, but I am always there in the mirror. Some of the portraits are of people that I admire and revere. I interviewed the them and took many photos. While getting to know them more, gave me the insight on what colors I wanted to use and backgrounds. The historical paintings on Billie Holiday are done in oils also. With Billie Holiday, I researched her life and separated the information into three canvases. The research gave me insight on her beginnings as a singer, her impact on African Americans during the blues and jazz era, and her sadness during her later years. Rather than using the Dutch style of dark paintings, I used brighter colors to set the mood of that time. I wanted her to shine. I hope that these images will tell a story and inform the viewer of many different lives and passages through time.
DeSande R is an educated artist born in Chicago, Illinois, and currently resides in Carbondale, Illinois. DeSande recognized her talent since the age of five. While living a quiet life, she spent most of her time studying people. She observed the mannerisms and expressions of people during family gatherings. Hiding in a corner was her special place for this observance. While attending high school, DeSande’s influences were Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio, and Michelangelo. They reflected images that appealed to her style and taste. From that moment on, she knew that painting would be a prominent part of her life. Later in college she researched African American artists such as Laura Wheeler-Waring, Adrian Piper, Archibald Motley Jr, Jacob Lawrence, and Elizabeth Catlett. Another influential artist during her graduate school years was Rembrandt van Rijn and Odd Nerdrum. DeSande worked closely with Professor Najjar Abdul-Musawwir, the Emeritus Robert Paulson, and many other excellent art professors at Southern Illinois University. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from SIU Carbondale in 2002. DeSande has been teaching at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois, for 16 years. She previously worked on paintings concerning influential people in the community. DeSande also ventured into analog photography within the subject of portraiture. Her most recent works encompass using pen to do expressive drawings and linoleum block prints.