YOUNGSTOWN — As part of Black History Month, Youngstown State University’s Department of Art will have presentations by guest artists Amber Ford and Antwoine Washington from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday (Feb. 5) at the McDonough Museum of Art, 525 Wick Ave.
An opening reception will take place after the presentations at 6:30 p.m. at the Judith Rae Solomon Gallery in Bliss Hall on the YSU campus, where both artists’ work will be on exhibition until Feb. 28.
Both artists’ work reflects the theme “Pulling Our Weight in Gold.”
Ford is a photographer and artist based in Cleveland. She received her bachelor of fine arts degree in photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 2016. She works primarily in photography while occasionally exploring other mediums such at printmaking and, most recently, sculpture.
She is best known for her work in portraiture, which she refers to as a “collaborative engagement between photographer and sitter.” While always questioning “the truth,” Ford aims to establish a platform in which her sitter may present themselves as they please. She is interested in topics such as race and identity, according to a news release.
Ford received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award in 2017. Selected as a 2019 Gordon Square Arts District Artist-in-Residence, Ford completed a community-based portrait project titled “This Story is Mines and Ours.” The project is now a photographic mural on the back of the Gordon Square Arcade building at Detroit Ave & W. 65th St. in Cleveland.
Washington, born in Pontiac, Mich., received his bachelor of arts degree in studio art from Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, La.
As a child, he fell in love with drawing Saturday morning cartoons such as “Tiny Toons,” “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” and “Animaniacs,” according to the release.
While at Southern, Washington learned more about black history and art in America, further inspiring him to continue the legacy of Harlem Renaissance artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Jacob Lawrence. Washington decided to continue to tell stories of the black experience in America through his art.
After college, he moved to Cleveland with his wife and began working for the U.S. Postal Service as a mail carrier. He eventually quit this job and began his journey pursuing a career in art.
Washington suffered a stroke in November 2018. During his recovery, he used his art to help get through panic attacks and the numbness that he was experiencing on the right side of his body.
He has shown his work at the Cleveland Print Room, Worthington Yards, The Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Rooms to Let and Artist Archives of the Western Reserve.
He was commissioned to do a mural in Cleveland Public Square by Land Studios.
Washington also started a nonprofit organization called the Museum of Creative Human Art, which he uses to teach art through his graphic design courses.
The Judith Rae Solomon Gallery is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on the second floor of Bliss Hall.
Parking is available in the M30 Wick Avenue parking deck for a nominal fee. For more information, call the Office of Community Engagement and Events at 330-941-2307.