New York based artist, Destiny Arianna recently graduated from Bowdoin College, with a Bachelor of Arts in Africana Studies, Art History, and Visual Arts. Enamored with art from a young age, she started experimenting with black acrylic paint in her early teens. These early works focused on her identity a Black woman and depictions of blackness. After entering her first technical art classes during her sophomore year of college, she encountered a pedagogy that excluded Black portraiture. The gap in her artistic training led her to pursue the study of race in arts education. During Arianna’s time within Bowdoin's Visual Arts program, she continued to learn from and rebel against that pedagogy. Taking the skills, she acquired through self-teaching Destiny Arianna continues to focus on depictions of Blackness in art. Over the past year, Arianna has used painting, photography, and collage to explore her Black and Indigenous identity, with a focus on land, lineage, and language. Her works address the hypervisibility, visibility, and invisibility of her racial and cultural identities. Arianna addresses the deeply rooted connection between the rich culture she was immersed in growing up and its relation to the violent history of her ancestry to reconstruct a narrative of beauty, resilience, and survival in her work.
Arianna submitted her mixed-media based, senior thesis in May 2021. Skin Deep: Analyzing Black Representation in the Teaching of Visual Arts focuses on the need for pedagogical practice in studio art courses, that doesn’t center technical training derived from the Western canon of art production in Bowdoin’s Visual Arts Department.