Haitian-American Artist Uses Art To Empower Youth

Chimene Montgomery Mar 25, 2014 at 04:08pm

March 25, 2014 at 04:08 pm | Lifestyle

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Chimene Montgomery

March 25, 2014 at 04:08 pm | Lifestyle

Sophia Domeville

In honor of Women’s History Month, Face2face Africa is highlighting young women entrepreneurs and artists that embody the stories of perseverance, progress, and empowerment in a new series called “Faces You Should Know.”

Sophia Domeville (pictured), a Haitian New Jersey resident, sat down with Face2Face Africa to share her experience about being an artist. “I fought for my creativity since I was 5 years old,” Domeville passionately exclaims. Now a professional artist/teacher and event producer, this enterprising woman is championing the cause for art education.

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Domeville’s work is a reflection of her life experiences. Recalling her childhood, she tells of art being her motivation for speaking up and expressing herself,  “As a child, I experimented with plenty of color. I remember for the first time mixing blue and yellow to make green.” This magical discovery sparked her imagination.

Today, Domeville still uses emotionally driven colors, such as bright reds, deep hues of blue, and vibrant shades of yellow and orange, to create portraitures that use minimalistic techniques and powerful brush strokes to portray mood.

Kara WalkerAt age 18, Domeville rediscovered her art and was inspired by African-American abstract artist Kara Walker (pictured above), who is best-known for her controversial provocative themes and stark images of racial inequality, conflict, and subjugation (pictured below).

Kara Walker Art

 

“She is amazing. She changed my life!” says Domeville of Walker who taught her to be bold and to “speak-up for my work and take no prisoners.”

Before Domeville’s introduction to Walker, she had no knowledge of African-American abstract artists that looked like her. According to Domeville, Walker profoundly changed her view of the world and greatly influenced her style and status as a female artist.

In comparison to Walker’s art, Domeville portrait piece “Hidden Beauty (pictured below)” shares the similar esthetic technique of light and dark contrasting that helps bring characters and subjects to the forefront of your mind and imagination, making images pop. Domeville essentially turns her environment into her imagination, “I love painting on walls and doors and use mix mediums, such as wood, iron, plaster, and anything I can get my hands on.”

Hidden BeautyIn “Hidden Beauty,” the subject displays an underlying strength and intensity mirrored through the eyes, which look like stars. An additional sample of Domeville’s style can be observed in her piece simply entitled “1.” In this piece, the bright red face against heavy dark colors emphasizes themes of poise, leadership, and focus.

Sophia Domeville Sunday Morning

Her abstract piece “Sunday Morning” (pictured above) showcases four different panels against a white canvas. The first block resembles early morning sunrise, while the middle two can be perceived as early and high noon, and the 4th block can be described as the beginnings of a busy day with lots of movement, scenery, and vibrancy.

Watch Face2Face Africa’s interview with Sophia Domeville here:

 

Through Domeville’s organizations, Halls That Inspire and Art Day Celebration, she teaches art to impoverished and underprivileged children, which is a passion of hers that yields immediate gratification.

Domeville uses her art to create a framework to help empower young learners.

“My teaching techniques open up their minds and help to fill their intellectual and creative curiosity.” Domeville further encourages her students to believe in their potential and broaden their awareness, “Our youth are the next leaders of the world. They deserve access to art and comprehensive art education. I want to help influence and creatively enhance their futures.”  Domeville adds, “My success is not about the money; it is about empowering my kids. My goal is to support change in the world through art.”

 SEE ALSO: Revolutionizing Antiquated Systems of Education in Brazil, Beyond

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