Last Updated on July 22, 2023 by BVN
Delgreta Brown, Guest Artist | Aryana Noroozi, Reporter- Curator
In the process of documenting and understanding the history of rice, Black Voice News reached out to the community for their insight and expression of the history of rice within African American culture. We held an open call for Black artists to create art to be featured as part of the Still I Rice! series.
In this artists’ open call we wanted to share art that highlights the history of rice within the Black community. We welcomed any form of art, from written to visual. We received submissions from artists T. Faye Griffin, Theresa P. Shellcroft and Delgreta Brown, the first two who are based in the Inland Empire. Check out their submissions in this section of the Still I Rice! series.
Delgreta Brown is a Contemporary and Afrofuturism Visual Artist who expresses themes of matriarchy, indigeneity, antiquity, mythology, prosperity, navigation, spirituality and technology through her work. These themes are influenced by her perspective as a woman of the African diaspora.
Brown primarily uses acrylic, but has produced mixed medium works of art. She begins her process on canvas with a sketched drawing or digital rendering, then she moves on to materials.
Materials often found in her work range from reclaimed wooden blocks to metal to jewels, glass, glitter and luminous pigments which are used to symbolize luxury, an ethereal state of being or to convey an organic texture.
Brown’s submission for Still I Rice! is called “Sitting Pretty,” an acrylic painting of a woman from the African diaspora wearing the natural hairstyle of locs. She is wrapped up in the green leaves of a rice plant. Her arms are hidden under the folds of the plant and her long hair is partially cocooned by the leaves while her legs are exposed. In front of her are sprouts of rice, springing forward.
“This original painting addresses how rice is a symbol of wealth, prosperity, abundance and fertility. These themes are connected to spirituality, as signified by the color violet in the background,” Brown said. She chose to use metallic pigments of gold and copper on the individual rice grains of the plant to reference the minerals and riches found in nature.
“I also wanted to bring more attention to the notion that true wealth or abundance is self-made, sexy, is a natural state of being and requires a certain modesty, a hidden quality or vulnerability — as indicated by her tasteful nudity,” Brown said.
Since 2008, Brown’s artwork has been exhibited across northern California and Bay Area galleries and museums. Today, Brown is CEO of AMARIGINAL ART LLC where she actively pursues her creative and entrepreneurial career. Read more about Brown and her work here.
Still I Rice! is part of the Black Voice News series, Centerpoint: The Healing Power of Cultural Connections, funded by Ethnic Media’s Stop the Hate campaign administered by the California State Library.
Still I Rice!
Part 3: Un-Gumbo
Part 5: Middle Passage into the Future
Part 6: A Tale of Two Rices
Part 7: Sitting Pretty