Inspiration can come from anywhere.
A calming breeze, the sound of rustling trees and the lyric of a song can propel an artist to create a striking piece of visual art.
Washington, D.C. native and Jamaican descendant, Imani Shanklin Roberts is conveying the powerful messages of Lauryn Hill in an upcoming art exhibit entitled “STILLMiseducated.”
“The work is directly inspired by the ‘MisEducation of Lauryn Hill’ album. It’s an album that is incredible and she’s a phenomenal artist so really capturing that artistically has been kind’ve difficult in that it’s such an incredible album,” Roberts explained.
The new Brooklyn resident crafted the upcoming exhibit through a true collaborative process. Hosting a listening party along with The Culture LP – an art collective – with other minds, attendees jotted down notes and images they saw and provided it to Roberts. “We had a listening session where we had people draw images and make notes about how they felt about the album,” she said. “I have taken that on and have been more so the vessel to be ensure my artistic message is seen and felt, but I think this body of work is super collaborative in that I’m relying on the people who were there at the listening session and then combine my personal view of the work.”
This isn’t Roberts first time putting on an art show. The Pratt Institute graduate tested the New York City market last November following her graduation.
Though she is no rookie to planning and executing shows, Roberts feels this particular exhibit will be at a larger scale compared to anything she has done in the past.
“I was actually approached by a collective that brought on this idea to me last year and now we’re making it come to fruition which is super exciting. I think it will be will be larger than anything I’ve ever done before,” she said.
Handling the creation of her art with care, Roberts is hopeful that she will not only convey the beauty of Lauryn Hill’s lyrics but that she will also capture her own thoughts alongside the attendees at the listening session.
This particular pressure has opened a new path for Roberts who feels the stress from completing this exhibit is only making her a stronger artist.
“It is a lot of pressure to create this but for my artistic career it is very rewarding,” she said. “Being able to present her body of work in a visually artistic format would be challenging for anyone because she is so phenomenal. I feel like I’m emerging so it’s kind’ve difficult but I’m excited by it to and very humbled at the end of the day. It’s some stressful days but overall, I’m really excited to present it.”
Get lost in Roberts’ visual interpretations of Lauryn Hill, Aug. 30, 2-7 pm at Studio 301 located at 301 Ten Eyck St., New York, NY 11206, near the intersection of Ten Eyck and Bogart streets. Tickets are available for $15. For more information, visit www.thecu