Written by: Julie Thieman, Marketing Intern
Thony Aiuppy is a contributing Artist for LIFT: Contemporary Expression 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.
Thony Aiuppy received a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Drawing from the University of North Florida and a Master of Arts in Painting from the Savannah School of Art and Design. Currently, he is a practicing visual artist, an art educator, and a contributing writer for the blog Metro Jacksonville. He lives with his wife and three children in the historic neighborhood of Springfield in Jacksonville, Florida.
Aiuppy’s paintings display scenes that depict the strain of race, religion, gender, and labor in the aftermath of a racially divided South. He pulled from recent events in Ferguson, Charleston, Baltimore, and New York, as well as the Johnson Brothers’ hymn, to motivate the creation of his pieces for LIFT. Aiuppy wanted his paintings to have a Civil War Era style in order to convey that Civil Rights is still a dividing issue in today’s society.
Although his paintings depict destruction and violence, “there is a glimmer of hope represented though some form of reconciliation.” Aiuppy painted the world as he sees it today, “one that is filled with great fear and hate, while at the same time capable of great love and hope.” He hopes that his paintings will leave people asking questions and start a conversation about the topic of race relations.
To learn more about Thony Aiuppy and see more of his artwork visit his website.