ECU hosts first ever Black History Art Exhibit for students

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The walls of Ledonia Wright Cultural Center were full of pieces of art on Wednesday night, as East Carolina University held the first student Black History Art Exhibit.

The exhibit gives artists the platform to create artwork that brings attention to the topic of black resistance.

Shari White is an art major at ECU and says she is one of a few African American students in the course of study, which is why she says the exhibit gives her power.

“In our major, there’s not many black people,” White said. “I’m one of like a couple of people in my class, it’s like one or two. I just really feel appreciated as a black artist, like I’m being seen.”

Students have the freedom to design any piece that exemplifies any form of resistance. It can be in the form of poetry, a drawing, a painting, or as a sculpture like two pieces created by Karena Graves.

The ECU graduate student, who won first place, says she believes they represent a sense of unity for everyone.

“They do hold black narratives that I think a lot of black people can relate to,” Graves said. “Fixing these up and adding new elements to them was something I felt like I wanted to do for myself, and give to the community.”

Faculty, staff, and even students who didn’t submit art came out for the first-ever exhibit, but Graves says she feels it shows that we’ve come a long way yet have so far to go.

“When you say like being the first person of the first show is like wow,” Graves said. “We’re still being the first of something when it should’ve been many more before me already.”

Artwork at the exhibit will be on display for the entire month of February.