For this episode, Peachy Keen stayed close to home to talk to Athens, Georgia artist, Yvonne Studevan. Having gained some local fame for painting the proprietor of Vic’s Vintage shop downtown as “Black Jesus”, Studevan explains how deeply that portrait— commissioned by St. Philip Monumental AME Church in Savannah—is related to her own history and desires to increase the representation of black people with black features in portraiture.
A seventh generation descendent of Richard Allen, the founder and first bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, Studevan recounts how she only became interested in history after she began to uncover a historical record that she could relate to.
We talk about how she’s come from making paper dolls with darker skin tones as a child to plein air painting local sites of black historical significance, her technical growth as a painter, and her astute observations of color and changing light.
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