Tokie Rome -Taylor
January 7 – February 14, 2021
I use portraiture, Creolization, and found objects as artifacts to create conduits of memory. Creolization, a hybridization of African cultural traditions and those of the new world of the Americas. It was a means of survival, a subversive rebellion for identity and autonomy from those that would otherwise oppress them. This was a necessity of African people from the diaspora, who are led to believe that all signs of our history, status, spiritual and cultural practices were erased upon arrival to the Americas. I use common western symbolic elements of wealth and status; jewels, lace, velvet, etc. to psychologically shift the internal narrative of the viewer towards elevation of the subjects, acceptance, expanded perception and expectation.
I am connecting to my own personal history as a southern girl, taught nothing of her history. Longing to understand my place as a daughter of the Diaspora, my journey to connecting to home has been led by me paying attention to energy, signs, and intuition as ancestral guidance to create works that explore race, history, spirit, memory and material culture as a means of connecting to my past. This connection is one the south has not taught its children. As a child of the south, I grew up with a void. The conversations around my artwork strive to explore these rituals, material artifacts as a means of channeling our history. The children in my works act as the conjurers. They welcome with their innocence and purity, a spirit open to ancestors and a rewriting of their history.
Tokie (Rome) Taylor is a native of Atlanta, Ga and currently lives on the outskirts of the city. She received her BA in Arts Education with a focus on Photography and Drawing from Morris Brown College, in Atlanta, GA and M. Ed, and Specialist from Lesley University. Tokie’s work explores themes of time, spirituality, and identity. She often integrates found objects as artifacts and conduits of memory.
Her exhibition and awards record includes several national exhibitions such as PhotoLucida Critical Mass 2020, Women WOMEN (UN)SILENCED A Survey of Contemporary Black Artists Gallery 1202, Gilroy, CA, 37 Juried Exhibition, Masur Museum, Monroe LA, Zuckerman Museum of Art GA, Dalton Gallery, Agnes Scott College, “APG- Alan Avery Selects” Atlanta, GA. among others. Tokie is a Funds for Teachers Fellowship recipient, studying photography in Santa Fe, New Mexico and in San Francisco, California. She is an Honorable Mention recipient for the International Photography Awards (2019)- sponsored by the Lucie Foundation. She is a 2019 recipient of the 2019 Virginia Twinam Smith Purchase Award.Tokie’s work has also recently been added to the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art.
Additionally, Tokie devotes her time to her 5 children, as well as teaching and inspiring young artists as an arts educator in Atlanta, GA.