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Art That Tells a Story

Art is often defined as a visual response to the world around us. Throughout time, art has covered a broad scope, from decorative arts and religious sculptures, to genre scenes and social murals. Those who buy and collect art do so either because they feel a connection with the artist or subject matter, or they gain some prestige, or perhaps they simply want a specific colored piece of art to match their sofa.

Art often tells a story.

One of the most famous 20th century paintings, Guernica by Picasso (1937) was an expression of his outrage over the Nazi bombing of a Basque city in northern Spain, ordered by General Franco. This monumental [roughly 11’x 25’] black-and-white canvas has become an international symbol of genocide committed during wartime.

Artist Keith Haring emerged from the New York City street culture to become a renowned American artist. On a trip to Italy, Haring decided to paint a mural on the north side of the convent of the church of St. Anthony Abbot, which had been semi-buried during the bombings of World War II. Tuttomondo is an Italian word which means “All world”. The mural depicts a future in which the dominant ideals are unity and peace.

These are just two examples of art that tells a story. As we look back on 2020 and the BLM movement, I encourage you to visit the Black Art in America website (BAIA) to experience the art of Baba Atu and Laura Gadson as they impart the stories of Black culture. Visit Black Art in America at


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