Tuesday, November 1, 2016 / No comments

Unity Art Show Featured Artist: TJ Purdy

The Unity Art Show is a one of a kind art show that features the underground black art community of Mizzou. It’s a pop up art show started by junior, JoMerra Watson. The fine arts major came up with the idea because she was inspired to showcase her artistic peers. Watson gathered a group of 14 artist for the show on Nov. 10th. Tickets are on sale until Nov. 9th.

Over the course of the week following up to the show, 7 of the 14 artists will be featured. Here’s the first artist:

Name: Terrence “TJ” Purdy
Year: Senior
Major: Photography and Black Studies

 What is the inspiration for your work?
 “I love vintage stuff like definitely the 80s, I love grain, I love the 80s. And then just coming from my past.…just growing up in Chicago, it’s a very gritty place, the weather makes it even grittier, and it was a lot of madness in my family just growing up, so that really inspires my work. Ultimately, I just like storytelling.”

How long have you been taking pictures?
“It’s been two years now, yeah, legit, two years. Started two summers ago and it was so random. I had a big void because I was an athlete in high school, got here (Mizzou), I did poetry for a bit…. I was just bored, I needed an outlet. Then I started a creative blog, so I needed a camera to take pictures with and ended up just loving pictures.”

TJ also mentioned that he is about to start his own magazine called “The Xeno Cache”. The title is meant to represent a collection cool things.

How do you feel about being a part of the Unity Art Show?
“I’m super excited! I definitely wanted to do an art show and I’m so happy that “JoJo” (JoMerra Watson) really just made it happen, she really went crazy and did it. I just want to say I’m really thankful for that. A lot of people have seen my work online or whatever, but not many people have seen it physically, so it’s going to be exciting.”

What pieces are going to be featured in the show?
“It’s going to be futuristic, heavily inspired by Mad Max, the Rihanna shoot with W Magazine and the West; it’s going to be about women empowerment. It’s going to flip gender roles, that’s all I can say about it now.”

What are your plans for the future?
“I’m really just making a magazine because I just want to display my work in that type of format and I want to kind of make it something different from just regular magazines because I’m a writer in a sense. When I was a kid I wanted to write books for the rest of my life, but I don’t necessarily like being a journalist. My magazine is going to encompass me…. it’s going to be very visual. I don’t really have a goal for it, in a sense, it’s just something that I’ve always wanted to do, so I’m just going to do it and see where it goes.”

In his magazine, he says he hope to continue doing different photography projects like he currently does, but on a bigger scale. TJ also says he plans to go to film school and hopes to ultimately direct films.

Any last words?
“Shout-out to all the people that supported me and continue to support me and thank you guys for this interview. And 2016 positivity!”

 Be sure to check out TJ and the other artists at the art show!

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