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Written by: Julie Thieman, Marketing Intern

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

Photo by Ingrid Damiani

Marsha Hatcher 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.


Marsha Hatcher, Stanza I, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 in.

Hatcher was born in South Georgia and received her Bachelor of Arts from Albany State University. From a young age Hatcher had a connection to the song Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing, which translated into the pieces she created for the exhibition. Hatcher approaches paintings with an emotional sensitivity that is easily seen in the faces of the people she paints. Hatcher’s expressionistic style is seen through her literal interpretation of the song, specifically stanzas one, two, and three, in hopes that her “interpretation of this uplifting inspiring song will help others see and understand what this song means to me,” and “what giving a ‘Voice’ to people really means.”

In the words of Marsha Hatcher…


Marsha Hatcher, Stanza II, 2016, Acrylic on canvas, 30 x 24 in.

Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing is a song I can remember singing so many times as a child. It was “our” song. The song that made you proud when it was song. It has meaning. I didn’t know at the time what it meant but eventually the meaning became clear. It’s about the struggle past present and future. Giving voice to people who want to be heard. I don’t always use my canvas as a sounding board, but this exhibit is one that I am proud to voice my opinion through my art.

To learn more about Marsha Hatcher visit her blog.

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