Siler City, NC – Tiana Brooks, a senior at Jordan-Matthews High School and JMArts Scholar, was one of 35 high school artists statewide chosen to exhibit work at The 2021 Emerging Artists Invitational, an annual exhibition for high school artists sponsored by the Sechrest Gallery of Art and the High Point University School of Art and Design.
Her mixed media work, “Say Their Names”, is appearing now in the exhibition being held online this spring due to the pandemic. In past years, the event has taken place in the art gallery and has culminated with a daylong special program for students featuring workshops, tours of High Point art facilities and a special reception to honor the works on exhibition.
This year’s virtual exhibition runs through April 19. It can be viewed at highpoint.edu/artdesign/2021/03/11/emerging_artists_2021/ by scrolling through the slide show and clicking on any image for a larger view of the work. During the exhibition, the Sechrest Gallery will announce special prizes and feature each work on its Instagram feed.
“This piece was created for the sole purpose of remembering the Black women who lost their lives in the hands of police officers,” Brooks said of her work. “We must remember these women and fight for their rights and justice.”
Themes of compassion, understanding and justice run through much of Brooks’ work, one reason among many that JM art teacher Rahkie Mateen-Mason has developed such respect for the young artist. “We often hear that life imitates art, but art also imitates life,” Mateen-Mason said. “In Tiana’s piece, ‘Say their Names’, Tiana tackled a really tough subject. I think what I admire most about Tiana is that her art is so personal that it often becomes universal.”
Brooks received first place in “Path to the Woods,” a 2019 juried art show at Jordan-Matthews held in conjunction with the high school’s stage production of “Into the Woods.” She has exhibited at other shows in the area including the 2019 Chatham Artists Guild Studio Tour Student Show, received her school’s 2020 Young Artist Award and was named a 2020 JMArts Scholar, an annual honor awarding scholarships for intensive study over the summer at weeklong, residential workshops offered on university campuses.
More information about JMArts, including a schedule of upcoming arts events and information on membership, is available online at JMArts.org.