Nneka Jones, founder of Art You Hungry and recent graduate from the University of Tampa, achieved a milestone in her career that involves TIME Magazine. The 23 year old activist artist was commissioned to produce the cover of TIME's August 31st/ September 7th issue, 2020, curated by Pharrell Williams.
She was contacted by Victor Williams who spotted her painting of George Floyd after multiple views on Instagram. Williams was intrigued by Jones' ability to not only paint realistically but hand sew portraits with symbolic meaning and activist intentions.
Jones' seemed to be the right fit as this issue relating to "The New American Revolution" highlighted a series of essays relating to a more inclusive future and the uplifting of black visionaries, entrepreneurs, creatives, etc. Her work and previous series "Target" focuses on bringing awareness to social injustices that occur, not only in America but on a global scale. These include highlighting racism, colorism, sexual abuse and sex trafficking. She uses her artwork as a tool to prompt conversations about these topics that society usually chooses to "sweep under the rug".
For the artist, the hand embroidered American Flag symbolizes optimism and hopes of reshaping America to reflect a more united and equal nation. She states "The needle is left in the canvas to reinforce that this is a work in progress, not something that will happen over night and will require everyone to work together to make a change". The vertical positioning and colors used are to emphasize the rising and excellence of black leaders and people of color, changing the mold and allowing for a more inclusive nation.
The artist is proud to be the first Trinidadian artist to be featured on the cover and is excited about the beginning of her art career.
See more at: https://time.com/5881265/story-behind-time-new-american-revolution-cover/
Also, follow the artist on Instagram for more updates on her future, artistic endeavors: