Demario Dotson | AADL Black Lives Matter Muralist
Following the Ann Arbor District Library's Call for Artists in 2020, AADL installed a Black Lives Matter mural on the south side of Library Lane on Friday, May 21 featuring the works of eight artists.
Below is our interview with muralist Demario Dotson.
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I’m an Atlanta native artist who currently resides in Detroit and recently graduated from Cranbrook Academy of Art.
Q: What's your earliest memory of making art and your earliest memory of being affected by art?
A: My earliest memory of creating art was when I was in elementary and I drew these exact characters you see today involved in the mural project. I continued my practice as a draftsman in high school and later in undergraduate studies found painting and printmaking to be a part of my studio practice. Now, my practice includes motion graphics as well.
Q: Tell us about your mural and your art.
A: With my work Sandra Blands With Capes (Protecting the Black Youth From The Police), I created heroes of the black community who actually protect and survive. I re-create a world that parallels our current with Black experiences where fantasy intersects. Using counter-storytelling, I redistribute power. Power into me. Power in our truth. Power in community. Decentering pain with Black women dismantling racism, the true superheroes in my life. The glitches, errors, and misregistrations as it relates to the fluidity of Blackness and how diasporic it can be and actually have no limits. It promotes the multi-dimensionality of Black individuality with the dialects of Black queer Southern vernacular expression. I was inspired by deteriorating billboards and how billboards determine time and past and who accompanies that space. Commercial media affects the community when it comes to representation. I think about the fight for space and placement as it pertains to Black agency. The work is a mixed media consisting of a collage of archival imagery and painting.
AADL Black Lives Matter muralist interviews:
- T'onna Clemons
- Quadre Curry
- Demario Dotson
- John Rodriguez
- Jaleesa Rosario
- Rachel Elise Thomas
- Curtis Wallace
- Avery Williamson