Steven Cozart

Greensboro, NC

As of late, Cozart’s work has begun to reflect his thoughts and feelings about race and identity in America, focusing on stereotypes of the African American Male and Female within the paradigm of the African American Community. This series of drawings refers to the historical practice, in African American communities, of colorism, defined as prejudice or discrimination against individuals based upon skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.  In fact, these comparisons could be based upon several physical traits, including hair texture, gender roles, and other traits, myths, and fallacies prevalent in the community. Acts of colorism would include, for example, comparing a brown paper bag to skin tone in determining admission or exclusion in social circles.

Cozart gathers reference materials for his work though conversations and recorded interviews with his subjects regarding their experiences with colorism. The goal of Cozart’s work is to begin conversation within a public space about why these things are so prevalent within the African American community, given the community’s history in the United States.  Ultimately, the artist hopes that, in exhibiting the work, that he will provide safe spaces for the African American community to come together, share insights, frustrations, realizations, and find solutions to moving beyond these stereotypes.

Steven M. Cozart is an artist, educator, and documentarian that loves to draw and, despite being colorblind, enjoys painting. He resides in Greensboro, North Carolina with his family. Cozart received his BFA in Art Education from East Carolina University and has taught in the Guilford County School System for over 25 years. Cozart currently teaches at Weaver Academy for Performing and Visual Arts. Most of Cozart’s work is figurative and reflects thoughts and musings regarding his own life, circumstances, and events that he experienced over the years.

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