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“All I remember are white men on horses or naked white women" | Black artist comes full circle in new Cummer Museum Exhibit

The painting Simone is a part of the Community Foundation’s Art Ventures 30th Anniversary Exhibition.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Cummer Museum of Arts and Gardens opened a new exhibit this week featuring 30 artists from northeast Florida. 

One of those artists is feeling the fulfillment and excitement on seeing more people like herself in artwork at the museum. 

RELATED: Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens new exhibit showcasing local artists

Her painting is called Simone, and the artist hopes its meaning goes well beyond paint and canvas. 

“All I remember are white men on horses or naked white women," Erin Kenrick said.

Erin Kenrick loved to go on field trips to the Cummer Museum as a child but never saw any artwork that looked like her. Now that's changing in what she calls, "a full circle moment."

“My painting Simone is a part of the Community Foundation’s Art Ventures 30th Anniversary Exhibition," Kenrick said.

Kendrick has a master's degree in art and teaches at the Jacksonville Arts and Music School. 

“Now I get to be for my students what I didn’t have as a child," Kendrick said. "Now they get to see work not only by someone who looks like them but by really someone they know.”

She is thankful to the Cummer Museum for featuring artwork of people of color and has this message of equity and inclusion. 

“We have access. These places are not exclusive. These places are meant for us just like they’re meant for anybody else," Kendrick said. "As Black women, as people of color, we deserve to be part of the greater fine arts conversation.”

The Cummer Museum will provide free admission and programming on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The exhibition will remain open through February 21.

Kendrick will have a solo exhibition opening March 1 at Florida State College at Jacksonville.