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Art & Life with Dionne Victoria

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dionne Victoria.

Dionne was born to artist Victor T. Simmons Sr and Dionne Michelle Milton. Though her father sparked her creative mind by always exploring the world around her, it was her mother who taught her how to think outside of the box to accomplish her goals. It was years before she began painting and when she did, painting became life for her. Her first painting won the All City High School award and was displayed at the Museum of Science and Industry. Shortly after that her work was shown in the Congressional Library in Washington D.C. She has shown her work internationally and has been active in various creative organizations; South Side Community Arts Center, UChicago Arts Incubator and Sky Art are just a few examples. Her work currently revolves around children and their link to the future but she is thinking of the past for it will guide the steps we take in the present.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
My art is about our future. I have a series called “Heroes of Tomorrow”. It’s a series of paintings of children from my life painted as super heroes. The idea sprouted from the lack of the black image in mainstream gallery spaces and museums. I don’t get to see myself a lot in the artwork represented in museums as a subject or artists. I could probably count on one hand the number of black women artists repeated displayed. This series was two pronged in inception. First, I wanted my students to be able to see themselves in the world around them. The second I wanted to uplift my students, friends and family by showing them how amazing they are. They are not just news reports and world star but they are thinkers, builders, superheroes and tomorrow are their day, not mine. So, they should be the heroes of tomorrow in every moment they can.

Any advice for aspiring or new artists?
I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on the business side of artistry. My advice would be to make sure to educate yourself on how to be a business and start building a tribe of people who can support that. It’s important that we as artists understand that because making art for the sake of making art is not a luxury that artists, especially artists of color, can do nowadays. I was able to intern for working artists who survive on their artistry. It was because of them I learned as much as I did. That would be my advice. Learn the business, build the tribe and network.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I have a studio at the Zhou B Art Center located at 1029 W. 35th. I am also in group shows around the city of Chicago.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Cumbiasazo, Ronald West

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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