“…A chronicle of my family on their travels from Alabama to Detroit. We are all looking for something, all traveling from here to there.”

Gilda Snowden, 1988

According to the African American Registry, Gilda Snowden was born on July 29, 1954. She was a Black artist, educator, and mentor. The artist transitioned on September 9, 2014.

Snowden was born in Detroit, Michigan, and grew up in northwest Detroit. Her father was a dentist. Her parents and grandparents migrated from Alabama and Texas to Detroit early in the 20th century, part of the great migration of Blacks from the rural South to the urban North. She attended Cass Technical High School with a focus on fashion design. Snowden earned her BFA degree in Advertising Design and Painting in 1977 and her MFA degree in Painting in 1979 from Wayne State University. She decided her sophomore year of college to focus on fine art. At Wayne State, she was heavily influenced by the Cass Corridor art movement and studied with artist John Egner.

The African American Artist
Gilda Snowden

Her Collections

Snowden’s work is held in permanent collections including: Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Wayne State University Art Collection, Detroit, David C. Driskell Center, Maryland

Gilda Snowden’s
Chair 6

In her own words: Snowden describes all of her works as autobiographical including an extensive series Self-Portrait of over one hundred self-portraits of the back of her head and shoulders. She has cited her experience of race, gender and fears she felt as a child as the inspiration for this series. She began again with the series after growing her hair out in the 2000s and using computer projections to help create her pieces. Monument [1988], found at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

ARTwork by Gilda Snowden, Public Domain. | Gilda Snowden Wikipedia(Text) CC BY-SA | Kresge Arts in Detroit

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