Tasheka Arceneaux-Sutton, faculty, MFA in Graphic Design at VCFA, and assistant professor of graphic design at Southeastern Louisiana University gave public lectures this past spring titled “Where’s the Black in Graphic Design?”
“I wanted to explore my research and figure out ways to use graphic design as a way to explore my interest in African American studies, identity and culture,” said Arceneaux-Sutton. In both her February lecture at the Hammond Regional Arts Center in Hammond, LA, and in her April lecture at Noble Lounge at Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT, she detailed her journey through graphic design, mentioning school, jobs and teaching experiences as an African American designer. She emphasized her passion for exploring the absence of African Americans in graphic design and discovering the few that were successful in the business.
Arceneaux-Sutton elucidated reasons for the lack of many African American graphic designers. As she explained, many black students go to underprivileged high schools where they’re not exposed to graphic design as subject or field. Also, because there are few publicly successful African American graphic designers, many students are unaware of potential role models. Arceneaux-Sutton expanded the presentation, present the few successful African American graphic designers from past to present day including Leroy Winbush, Georg Olden, Eddie Opara and Emory Douglas.