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Pineapples with Purpose!
EXPLORE YOUR INNER CORE
MEET THE ARTIST
Welcome to My Artistic Practice
You may know by now that my name is April, and I am a board-certified art therapist; however, I am also a mixed media visual artist. My current work calls into question my role as a visual artist and art therapist within Black communal spaces. I create large-scale pieces based on the visual influences of both my personal and professional experiences. Combining contemporary abstraction with experimental narrative, I capture the layered realities of Blackness, racial trauma, and oppression alongside the history and evolution of the pineapple. My principle purpose is to help individuals uncover, assess, and externalize challenges that affect their overall well-being as well as calling for the decolonization of mental health practices within Black communities.
My work has been featured in the Tallahassee Democrat, Canvas Rebel, Artful Infrastructure, Black Superwoman Chronicles, ArtPlace America, Black Minds Mag: Issue 2, Art Seen: The Curator’s Salon Magazine, and ART4EQUALITY x LIFE, LIBERTY, PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS Exhibition Catalog.
My most recent accomplishments include being Arts in Medicine Fellow (AIM), Baldwin for the Arts Fellow (BFTA), and the city appointed practicing artist for the Council on Cultural and Arts Board of Directors (COCA). I am committed to using art to create a sense of place and belonging. I believe that in order to turn pain into purpose, you must “Make Room for Your Crown!”
How Art Therapy Found Me
As a child, I have always created and cherished many memories in and out of the classroom that fueled such creativity. However, it was yet another unexpected encounter with the death of a family member that forced me to reckon with unresolved grief, loss, and trauma. After several difficult nights, I heard a voice say paint, and I found the courage to buy a few art supplies with no clear direction just belief, prayer, and hope. In those moments of painting, I had no real intent; I simply yearned for peace. However, my subconscious desires were processing layers of unhealthy perspectives, habits, and decisions that were extensions of my own limited mental health practices, environmental stressors, generational trauma, and fear. There was clearly work to be done, but that day, I made a conscious decision to become an artist and art therapist to continue bettering myself and supporting others who may be struggling with life challenges and transitions. That was nine years ago, and I thank God for allowing me to use art to choose differently.
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