About the work:
American Gothic_ Breaking Ground is styled after Grant Wood’s work American Gothic. Thinking about Latino and Black immigration as part of the theme for “Hope.” I wanted to reimagine Wood’s work using the images of a Latino woman and a Black man, showing diversity, culture, and race as we see in America today. Here, a family is given a chance to grow, prosper, and build their lives as well as be socially accepted without ridicule for the color of their skin or backgrounds.
Young Black Wishes is my reaction to all the adversities, injustice, ridicule, and hate I watch young Black children and people of color go through in their daily lives. To watch a child be stripped of his opportunities in life before they even get started is heartbreaking. In my profession as an educator, I encourage my students to acknowledge who they are and accept the greatness they have to offer the world: “Have goals you can work towards and no dream is too big. Make wishes and scatter them freely and grow to be something greater than yourself.”
Terrance Gray is an East Moline, IL, based mixed media artist from Rock Island IL, specializing in digital and traditional arts. He continued his art education at a later age as a non-traditional student at Black Hawk College before transferring to Northern Illinois University to obtain his BFA in Drawing. Taking a year off, Terrance returned to Northern Illinois University to obtain his MFA in the hope of teaching art. Terrance now teaches Art Appreciation at Black Hawk College and has established an art program at Arrowhead Youth and Family Services. Visit the artist’s website.