Kimberly M. Becoat
Seneca Village - Stand for Andrew Williams, 50 x 38", Painted graphic sheets, acrylic, collaged on paper, 2019
Seneca Village represents a beginning of social equity for free Blacks in New York City. Property rights, red lining, gentrification, and eminent dominance over Black citizens pre, during, and post enslavement are all persistent obstacles. They are representations of racism in a North deemed to be predominantly anti-slavery.
Urbania: they gave us Concrete Gardens, Acrylic sand mix painted and collaged , gold leaf on paper. 40 x 30", 2017/18
The Urbania series focuses on two main objectives: urban displacement and reclaiming and re-appropriating by Blacks and Latinos in from the 1980s to present. With a focused lens, these crucial topics intertwine intimate nostalgia with the political ramifications of a city built on segregation and redlining. Each work reflects on the scenery, people, and elements of my childhood neighborhood.
About the Artist
Kimberly M. Becoat is a contemporary mixed media artist whose work is a stylistic abstraction with a conceptual investigation of new materials and visual experiences with social commentary. She uses a variety of art materials including acrylic paint, sumi ink, and watercolor as well as less conventional items like sand, tar paper, foil, candy wrappers and other detritus.
Call to Action
I want you to understand the resourcefulness of Black & Brown people, despite the many constructs of living environments. Throughout history, these communities have maintained a healthy grasp on sustainable and ecological, communal resources, before being forgotten or destroyed. As is true with Seneca Village, which is now Central Park, repetitive historical, negative actions like the removal of a people from thriving spaces create unstable communities.
I challenge us to rethink urban environments as sustainable, livable, and affordable spaces that encourage underserved communities to thrive. This is essential to our densely populated cities that are faltering under current infrastructures and the threats of climate change. Climate change is deeply connected to how we live socially, financially, and structurally. I want to encourage people to reflect on past actions of excavation and industrial industry in relation to the middle class and poor.
In Their Own Words