My work highlights strength and resilience in my subjects. These artworks honor my paternal grandparents. They are pieces of them. Therefore, they are pieces of me. Our lives revolved around them as they were the King and Queen of Sunset Boulevard. Memories of my magical childhood with them, waft through the holes of lace doilies with the sweet aroma of tobacco and burning leaves. The DNA strongly marks so many of us that we didn’t realize the power of the indelible ink until we were halfway through our journeys. Their presence and love is strong. Their absence still haunts us.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Truth, Beauty, and Pride are the themes of photographer, Natalie Jackson’s work. They come together to tell gripping stories of Black life, past and present. Having lived in Chicago, St. Louis, Atlanta, and Charlotte, she gathered experiences, education, and history and returned to the Midwest. She has worked as a staff photographer for Good News Magazine in Atlanta, Georgia to a medical photographer for Soderstrom Skin Institute in Peoria, Illinois. Years after receiving a Marketing degree she went back to school to study photography, a lifelong passion. Her long time hobby quickly became a means for expression. Notable projects were a shoot for Art AIDS Africa, Jane Fonda’s Lost Boys of Sudan project, and a birthday shoot for jazz artist Freddy Cole. She currently resides in Peoria, Illinois where she sits on the Board of Directors at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria and the Central Illinois Jazz Society. She has a studio and gallery in her father, artist, Preston Jackson’s building, the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria. She shoots, sells, and displays her artwork there. Her most widely known body of work, Crowns of Empowerment, is a love letter to the Black woman who is often neglected and disrespected. It is a series of empowering pieces, highlighting the importance of the Black woman’s role throughout history. This exhibition opened in the spring of 2017 and continues to travel and educate today.
© Natalie Jackson