LaToya M. Hobbs: Flourish¬

LaToya M. Hobbs: Flourish

LaToya M. Hobbs, The Founder, 2020. Acrylic, collage, and relief carving on wood panel, 48 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photo by Ariston Jacks.

March 9, 2023-June 11, 2023

LaToya M. Hobbs creates large-scale portraits of women from her community. Her portraits challenge entrenched assumptions of beauty and identity about Black women and turns them inside out. The artist deconstructs these ideas and reframes them from a place of love and celebration. Hobbs is an artist, professor, mother, wife, daughter, colleague, and friend. She connects to a wide community of women who serve as a source of inspiration and creation.

Hobbs’s background is as both a painter and printmaker. The work in this exhibition combines elements from both of those practices. She begins with a matrix, the physical surface of the printing process that holds ink. Hobbs uses wood, which is typical of relief prints. For the artist, the matrix holds its own beauty and meaning. She carves into the wood, shaping images and coaxing texture out of it. Surfaces are painted or collaged to create a new artform. Every touch, mark, cut, or furrow is present, giving insight to the artist and her process. Hobbs removes what is unnecessary on the surface to reveal the image. She likens this process to the need of Black women to discard negative beliefs or stereotypes so they may find their true selves. What is left is something new, authentic, and rooted in beauty and positivity.

Hobbs is originally from Little Rock, AR and currently lives and works in Baltimore, MD. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Master of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Purdue University. She has exhibited widely both within the United States and abroad. Her work is in prominent collections like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Harvard Art Museum, Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, the National Art Gallery of Namibia, the Getty Research Institute, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. Hobbs’s accomplishments include the 2020 Janet and Walter Sondheim Artscape Prize, a nomination for the 2022 Queen Sonja Print Award, and a 2022 IFPDA Artist Grant. Hobbs is also a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art and a founding member of Black Women of Print (BWoP).


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In this audio tour, artist LaToya M. Hobbs discusses the inspiration for Flourish, specific works in the show, and what she hopes visitors take away after spending time with the artwork.