Abstract painting Gilda Snowden

Gilda Snowden (1954 — 2014)was an African-American artist, educator and mentor from Detroit, Michigan.Snowden was born in Detroit in 1954. She attended Cass Technical High School with a focus on fashion design. Between 1972-1979 Snowden earned her earned her BFA in Advertising Design and Painting, MA in Painting, and MFA in Painting from Wayne State University. In 1985 she became a professor in Department of Fine Arts at the College for Creative Studies, Detroit. She was also gallery director of the Detroit Repertory Theatre prior to her death in 2014
Gilda Snowden's works are predominately abstracts that utilize vivid color. The city of Detroit sparked several bodies of work. Her Flora Urbana series features abstracted floral forms, in encaustic, inspired by the gardens now tended by Detroit citizens on plots where buildings once stood. City Album: Department of Railways 1929 is an example from a series of charcoal rubbings she made of the Detroit manhole covers she discovered riding though the city on her bicycle.
Snowden describes all of her works as autobiographical including an extensive series Self-Portrait of over one hundred self-portraits of the back of her head and shoulders. She has cited her experience of race, gender and fears she felt as a child as the inspiration for this series. She began again with the series after growing her hair out in the 2000s and using computer projections to help create her pieces. Monument [1988], found at the Detroit Institute of Arts, as «a chronicle of my family on their travels from Alabama to Detroit. We are all looking for something, all traveling from here to there.»









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