Thriving in Place: Lorraine Z Lerman - George Floyd
5.5 x 8.5", gouache on paper
These portraits came from the endless list of names of those killed by police. Images online inspired paintings in gouache on watercolor paper, as news of another Black life snuffed out ignited our voices, and the faces of these martyrs became my subject. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, followed in wrenching sequence with Sean Monterossa, close to home in Vallejo. Yuvette Henderson’s name was on KPFA, and I found a photo showing her and the top of a child’s head. For each painting, I delve into the story behind the name, and it is tragic that the names and stories come too thick and fast. In addition to these four are eight memorial portraits on cardboard, painted to use at a vigil (Fridays at 5pm at Cal): Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, Erik Salgado, William Howard “BooBoo” Green, Tanisha Anderson. Say their names.
Artists’ proceeds from the sale of these artworks (originals and giclee reproductions) will be donated to the Oakland Leaf Foundation, dedicated to the youth of Oakland. May their future be better.
Self-proclaimed class artist in kindergarten, in high school I was an art major, and in college, before dropping out during a turbulent time of student strikes, I was enrolled in the art department. As a working mom, I made paper maché bowls, silkscreening, and other art projects. Mostly I was a working mother and not an artist.
In 2001, I started stone sculpting at Zahava Sherez’ studio in Oakland, and was introduced to clay monoprinting. I encountered a medium that satisfied my need for color, play, and abstract emotion.
I was able to return to my first love of mark-making and art-making after I retired. I continue to develop, learn and achieve artistically at this stage of my life. I always wanted to try gouache and now I find it a satisfying medium too.
I am grateful to have shown locally at the AbramsClaghorn Gallery, Berkeley Art Center, Craneway Craft Fair, ProArts Gallery, Richmond Art Center, Blue Door Solo Show, Grove Salon and in the online newsletter by Ann Friedman.