BAIA BITS: Betty Blayton-Taylor
Little Moments Where Knowledge Meets Art
The question is not what artist Betty Blayton-Taylor did. The question is what didn’t Blayton-Taylor do?
A multitalented painter, illustrator, printmaker, and sculptor, Blayton-Taylor was also co-founder and Executive Director of Harlem Children’s Art Carnival (CAC), co-founder and Board Secretary of the Studio Museum in Harlem, and co-founder of Harlem Textile Works. Over the years, the Williamsburg, Va., native acted as an activist, a consultant, and a board member for numerous arts and community-based organizations. In 1984, her educational contributions brought her acclaim as the Empire State Woman of the Year in the Arts. In 1989, Blayton-Taylor won the New York State Governor’s Art Award and, in 1995, she added the CBS Martin Luther King, Jr. Fulfilling the Dream Award.
Blayton-Taylor has been characterized as a metaphysician, “spiritual artist,” “spirited educator,” and, by her own description, a “spiritual impressionist.” She was known for her exploratory approach to art, her abstract and compelling use of texture, form, and color.
Unfortunately, color was an issue from the beginning, and it was far from abstract. As a talented high schooler, Blayton-Taylor chose to attend Syracuse University’s prestigious school of art. The 1936 Dovell Act, passed one year before Blayton-Taylor was born, provided scholarships for Black college students educated out of state because the state of Virginia had no Black colleges with accredited arts programs and little desire to educate Black college students. She took full advantage of her four-year ride before forging an extraordinary career in the fields of both art and education. Blayton-Taylor’s abstract works can now be found in collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spelman College, Tougaloo College, Fisk University, and in numerous private collections.
“The themes of many of my paintings are directly related to my study of metaphysical laws, which govern the universe,” Blayton-Taylor once said. “These ideas relate to reincarnation and the possibility of lives lived between lives, the acceptance of spirit guides, the acceptance of the uses of one’s intuition and the possibility that this life is one of many lives lived here in Earth’s school, to teach us certain lessons. These are the things that I have pondered and still often ponder when I am working. I do not expect my viewers to know what I have in mind when I am creating a work, but I hope they will have a positive sensory response to the work, on a level that their own insights are stimulated.”
BAIA BITS are produced in part by the generous support of our Patreon members with a special shout out to Zadig & Voltaire.
START COLLECTING ART
Sign up for our free email course on how to begin your collection.
Would you buy stock in BAIA if you could? Well we invite you to join us in becoming a monthly supporter, starting at just $3 a month YOU become a stakeholder and begin to help us transform lives through art. We are growing the BAIA team and will use your contributions to hire more team members for the purpose of creating more educational and marketing resources for schools and universities about african american artists both past and present. Such art initiatives and educational programming like Blacklite with Steve Prince, Relating to Art with Dr. Kelli Morgan, and BAIA BITS would not be possible without the ongoing support of our Patreon members. Please consider becoming a monthly Patreon member today!
Review our list of rewards for becoming a BAIA Patreon / patron supporter. Your monthly contribution has lasting benefits. — “What will your legacy be” – Dr. Margaret Burroughs
Thank you new and recurring monthly Patrons
Deloris and Eddie Young, Esther Silver-Parker, Eugene Foney, Zadig & Voltaire, Petrucci Family Foundation Collection of African American Art, National Black Arts Festival, Dr. Leslie Fields, Jim Nixon, Dr. Michael Butler, Matthew Putman, Grant Hill, Frank Frazier, Houston Museum of African American Culture, Joan Crisler, Dee Greer, March on Washington Film Festival, Danny Jenkins, Deborah L. McCullough, Ashlee Jacob, John and Melanie Guess, Tricia Konan, Michael Brinson, Dr. A. Holloway, Rosie Gordon-Wallace, Jeanette D Adeshote, Ja-Na Bordes, Rev. Anita Marshall, Tricia Konan, Robin King, Kerri L. Forrest, Nan, Thomas E. Rodgers, D. Lacy, Jeffery Washington, Brenda Larnell, Helen Oyekan, Jeffery Washington, Letashia Mosbey, Marian Darlington, Roslyn Valentine, Vyonne Diva, Ednarina Blake, Phyllis Stephens, Devera Redmond, Reginald Browne, Carla West, Beatrice, Longshore, Abimbola Thompson, Barbara Johnson, Beverly C Smith, Deborah R. Moore, Dr. Skyller Walkes, Ednarina BLAKE, Garr Parks, Gerald Carrington, Jae M, James B Wingo, Jocelyne Lamour, Kevin Smokler, Marion Zweig, Mary Ali-Masai, Michael J. Todd, Nan, Reg Pugh, Shannon DeVaney, Thomas E. Rogers, Tonya Pendleton, D Lacy, Noreen Winningham, Mason Archie, Jill Scott, Cari Jackson Lewis, Patrick Stewart, Rachel Corbray, Cecilia Winters-Morris, Chris Van Loan Sr., Romaine Roberts, Michael Jacobs, K.L. Martin, Gale Ross, Manuelita Brown, Annette, Jamal Love, Glenn Isaac Sr, M. Rasheed, Angela Williams, Dana Todd Pope, Terese L Hawkins, Mark Everett Sanders, Kirby L. Coleman, Harold Moore, Fredric Isler, Dr. R. Locke, Queen Brooks, Charles Bibbs, Diana Shannon Young, Dr. Yonette Thomas, M Belinda Tucker, Karen Y House, Runez M Bender, Duke Windsor, Cheryl Odeleye, Stephen Bennett, Shawn Rhea, Ethnie Weekes, Paul Robinson, Janice Orr, Patricia D Dungy, Jocelyn Benita Smith, Joan L. Ward, Garr Parks, Pamela Carter, Carlton Cotton, Diane R Miles, Jean Ann Durades, Luthetis Carey, Susan Ross, Harry F Banks, Shelia McNair, Lorna Conley, Shelley Byrd, DeLores M Dyer, Stefanie Fe Steele, Marjorie Hammock, Celestine Hinnant, ALKEBU LAN IMAGES Bookstore, Deborah Paige-Jackson, Desiree Dansan, Karen Pinzolo, Sonia Spencer, James Whitten, Shelley Danzy, Linda Eaddy, Wilhelmina Barker, Dorothy Massey, Annie Cheffers, Maddy Markland, Kaileigh Nelson, Kellyn Maguire, Cory Huff, keishua, Megan LaCroix, Sara Friesen, Desirée Stroud, Madison Taylor, Nina Marie, Mina Silva, Whitney, Toni Wendel, S F, Claire Sig, Isabel Engel, Sarah Drury, Elizabeth DeBunce, Hannah Diener, Diane Hughes, Petrina Burkard, Laura Di Piazza, Lisa Dunford Dickman, Jocelyn Greene, Cheryl B Blankman, Nicole Farley, Mitchell Shohet, Samiur Rashid, Sarah Rooney, Marina Kovic, Lloyd Goode, Sara, Pearlie Taylor, Lorna Doone, Ashley Littlefield, Monika Pi, Alison Deas, Carla Sonheim, Nicole Bruce, Brenda Keith, Louise berner-holmberg, Tellis, Pamela Hart, Kim Walker, Jessica Beckstrom, Franklin Jackson, Christina Levine, Curtis Morrow, jacki rust, Sarah Caputo, Freda Davis, cdixon06, Hollis Turner, Laura Pereira, Danni Cerezo, Cooky Goldblatt, Claudia Bell, Gwen Ruff, Teri L Lewis, Emily Hegeman Cavanagh, Judith Bergeron, Suzette Renwick, Beverly Grant, Kathleen Turner, Linda B. Smith, Joy Peters, Jea Delsarte, Reginald Laurent, Rita Crittenden, Michele C. Mayes, Dr. Sandra Boyce Broomes, Dr. Darlene White, Caitlin Charles, Jean Gumpper, Sade Benjamin, Eddie Santosh, Patricia Hassell, Ayoka Chenzira, Marie L Johnson, Georgia F Lyles, Morris Howard, AnnaTheLoon, C Harris, Rachael horner, Emily M, Anneke Schwob, Timothy Gandley, Petrina Burkard, Wren Mckinley, Wanda Baker-Smith, Joyce A, Bill and Deborah Nix, Sharmon Jane Hilfinger, Caryliss R. Weaver, Francene Greene, Julia Turner Lowe, Judith Hamilton, Ebony English, Alisa R Elliot, Charlotte Bender, Edwina King Diva E, Kim Dubois, Raven Burnes, Kevin and Tracy Burton, Bridgette McCullough Alexander, Marnese Barksdale Elder, Luna Cascade, India Still, Patricia Andrews-Keenan, Jerome Moore, Shurvon Haynes, Jacqueline Konan, Jeanne H Chaney, Karen M Hirsch, Samori Augusto
We Appreciate your support