Navigating “Crooked Rooms”: Intersections of Race and Arts Participation

  • Gloria J. Wilson


With the goal of uncovering how Black Americans come to understand and situate themselves as participators in the Western art world, this chapter uncovers the experiences of three artists whose lives have been influenced by a multitude of factors impacting their decisions in navigating an arts participation identity. Anchored by a commitment to solidify a position within a hegemonic art world, these artists skillfully facilitate their participatory movements alongside the pervasiveness of a legacy of exclusion and misrepresentation. I outline the utility of three artmaking strategies used by these artists as a means of calibrating their aspirational decisions. What is revealed in their narratives is an awareness of a racialized self, set against the problematics of participation within the world of visual art.


Arts participation Identity Black American African American Race Visual culture 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gloria J. Wilson
    • 1
  1. 1.Middle Tennessee State UniversityMurfreesboroUSA

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