In the current state of society, Black kids have a challenge placed before them in attempting to “ride up” to try and achieve equity at the table. A white kid in an affluent neighborhood is afforded the opportunity to ride a bike without fear of the police attacking or executing them. Their bikes also have the basic components required to function in a safe manner. Black kids have to ride with whatever society throws in their path knowing that the next second may not be promised because that is the American way. It is our duty to support Black kids that want to move forward and up even if the circumstances appear a little ratchet through an obscure societal lense.
Artist Statement: "I am a sculptor that explored political, social, environmental, and economic issues regarding race and ethnicity in the United States. Through the creation of fabricated, carved, and forged sculptures, my work seeks to stimulate the conversation with regard to America and Europe's dark racial past, challenging present, and questionable future. I seek to develop sculptural forms that incorporate aspects of the past and present to further the notion that society has an affinity of perpetuation an explicit attachment to the 'separate but equal' past." -Desmond Lewis
Bio: Desmond Lewis is a sculptor who was born and raised in Nashville, TN. Lewis received his AA from Bard College at Simon's Rock in Great Barrington, MA in 2012, BS from Tennessee State University in Nashville, TN in 2014, and MFA from The University of Memphis in 2017. In 2017, he was named one of the 100 Interesting and Influential People of Memphis. His work can be found in public and private collections including: Penland School of Crafts, Carolina Bronze Sculpture Park, City of Lenoir, NC, City of Hickory, NC, Vermont Carving and Sculpture Center, The University of Memphis, Soulsville USA, NexAir LLC, Skowhegan Parks and Recreation, and the Staz Museum of American Soul Music. In 2018, Desmond was awarded a public commission by Urban Art Commission that will be permanently installed in the Orange Mound Community (in Memphis, TN), to be completed in 2020. Past Residencies include the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2018, Pittsburgh Glass Center in 2018, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in 2017, and the Vermont Carving and Sculpture Center in 2016. He maintains a full time studio practice in Memphis, Tennessee.