REDLINE by Blu Murphy

“I see Black people as art.”

I am a mixed media artist, educator, and photographer based out of Washington, D.C. I combine striking black and white photography with acrylic paint or fabric and upcycled frames as canvases. My artwork not only features my students, but celebrates and honors them as living pieces of art. My art is about them; the photography is them. The subject matter is always them. I like to connect them, placing them in Black history. There’s something beautiful about connecting the past and the present and teaching them visually in that way.

My work is a tribute to the Black community, its essence, beauty, magic, and resilience. I hope my work inspires and informs viewers — while also speaking to and for the youth and educators, especially those working in Title I schools. I use a collage method to connect my students to figures and happenings of the past. I use a visual medium to teach Black history, while also commenting on the current state of the community. This infusion of the past and present, rooted in the culture, sheds light on stories that are often forgotten, hidden, or untold.