Photo by Trilogybeats
Dr. Anita Bates is a native of Highland Park, Michigan and a 2019 Kresge Arts Fellow. She is an educator and noted contemporary artist, who has exhibited in several venues including the G.R. N’Namdi Gallery; Dell Pryor Gallery; Detroit Artists Market; The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, River’s Edge Gallery in Wyandotte, Michigan; Querini Stampalia Museum in Venice, Italy; A Gathering of the Tribes Gallery in New York, NY and the Trout Museum of Art in Appleton, Wisconsin.
The artist and her work have been noted and reviewed in various periodicals and publications such as the Oakland Press; Detroit News and Free Press, the Romeo Observer, Art News, BLAC Magazine, Imago Mundi: The Luciano Benetton Collection and Detroit Home Magazine.
Anita is a Fulbright Memorial Fellow in Japanese education and holds a PhD in education, an M.F.A. in painting and k-12 teaching certificate from Wayne State University. She also received her MA in studio art from Eastern Michigan University. Her research interests involve using museum collections to foster critical conversations around identity and power.
Currently, Mrs. Bates serves as Assistant Professor of Teaching and Program Coordinator for Visual Art Education and the Social Sciences at Wayne State University.
My work uses texture and space as its primary language. There is always the presence of a horizon or division in the surface that suggests an abstracted landscape. Perhaps this stems from a secret desire to be a landscape painter.
The environment and the ground upon which we walk every day is where I find greatest inspiration. Whether it be the channeled and striated surfaces of tree bark or the gravel and asphalt that I encounter everyday on the streets of Detroit, my paintings embody the travels of a city girl.
I use the principles of movement and pattern to navigate the various textures, shapes and spaces that one encounters when experiencing my work—the aforementioned elements and principles mingling to create a feeling of a rich tapestry or quilt.
It is my hope that the viewer becomes lost, even entranced when examining the multitude of layering that exists in my work.
This layering is metonymy in that it reflects the many facets of self —gritty and bold, yet elegant; And if painting reflects an artist's soul, then I can truly say that my surfaces are an extension of who I am.--Anita