The colors and textures of the landscape of South Africa, the “Rainbow Country,” were a major inspiration for her recent work. The injustice young African American men and women face also inform the work, the release mentioned, as evidenced by pieces entitled “Black Lives Matter 2” and “Black vs. Blue Don’t Shoot.” These prints feature bold color combinations and textured surfaces and have been folded, overlapped and glued to form two-dimensional sculptures. The show also included an installation that incorporated athletic sneakers donated by the community during an open call period.
Bates, in accepting the award at the event, showered many with thanks. Also, “My sister, Judy Davenport, and my three sons have continued to give me their encouragement and support when I needed it the most,” Bates said. “Many thanks to my extended family, to the arts community, to my many friends and colleagues.
“My one regret is that my parents are no longer here to share this award with me,” Bates said. “I will remember this as one of the highlights of my career.”
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