Printmaker LaToya Hobbs, known for her terrific woodcut- and linoleum block-print portraiture of beautiful African American women, is exhibiting work at Hearne Fine Art, 1001 Wright Ave., through June 8.
With "Beautiful Uprising," Hobbs hopes to "challenge past notions of identity concerning the black female body, deconstruct them, and resurrect an ideology grounded in positivity," she says in her artist's statement. The manner in which she works is symbolic of the goal of her work, a mimesis she expresses beautifully here:
My primary medium of choice is relief printmaking. Symbolically this serves two purposes. The act of cutting away from my matrix (the surface of the wood or linoleum block) to shape an image is synonymous with the way one has to cut away negative ideologies imposed on them by others to expose or embrace their true selves. In this same sense women of African descent have had to cut away the negative stereotypes imposed on them by external forces to express their true identity. Secondly, the historic nature of printmaking stems out of protest and communication. This is significant to my work because I seek to dismantle negative stereotypes based on Euro-centric standards of beauty and communicate how past influences, expectations, and personal preferences resonate with women of color in the 21st century and are expressed through the canvas of their bodies.
Hobbs, who will receive her master's of fine arts degree from Purdue University next month, will attend 2nd Friday Art Night receptions from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. May 17 at Hearne and will present two talks the following day, May 18, one about her work in the show at 11 a.m. and with a panel speaking on "The Relevance of Hair" at 1:30 p.m.
As a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she learned printmaking from Aj Smith, Hobbs was
the student of printmaker mentored by Delita Martin. Martin will be demonstrating her work Saturday, April 27, at the Thea Arts Festival in Argenta, to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.