Written by: Katie Dietzel, Public Relations Intern
Chip Southworth is a contributing artist for LIFT: Contemporary Expressions of the African American Experience which presents a modern response to Jacksonville’s African American Heritage, while using the lyrics to James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson’s Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing as inspiration.
Southworth has been a practicing artist for the past 25 years. He studied Fine Art at Florida State University and digital design at the Art Institute of Jacksonville. In 1991 and 1992 he served as an apprentice for Master Artist Roland Hockett. Southworth quit his design job in 2013 to pursue painting full time.
His large scale portraits and figurative work are both artistic and a form of advocacy. He describes his inspiration from Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing as an interpretation of our nations struggle for equality while still having “one foot firmly planted in the hate of yesteryear.” The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, and Tamir Rice are the focal point of his art for this exhibition.
“I have always felt a sense of white guilt and burden of entitlement, so my work seeks to use my voice to sing as loudly as I can for those who have had their rights limited or taken away,” says Southworth.
To learn more about Chip Southworth visit his page at the CoRK Art District.