Tameka Phillips, a first-generation American citizen who hails from New York City, explores multi-culturalism and ethnic identities in her exhibition, “Human/Abstract” which is on display through February 28 in the main gallery of the Averitt Center for the Arts.

The Georgia Southern University graduate made both 2-D and 3-D works that incorporate aspects of different cultures around the world.

Tameka Phillips used mixed color palettes, patterns, and textiles to represent how individuals share similarities with each other. She molded life-size figures made from different materials including braids and different types of fabric that represented people in her 2-D work.

Tameka Phillips
Guest enjoy Human/Abstract at the gallery opening Credit: Grice Connect

“The idea behind the statues is that I just wanted them to be in poses that were natural and normal, that you would see all the time so that people could actually find it more relatable. With the variety of fabrics, I wanted that to be a mixture of different aspects of multicultural lifestyle,” stated Phillips.

Tameka Phillips
Human/Abstract at the Averitt Center Credit: Grice Connect

Phillips has a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Studio Arts from GSU and is currently a middle school art teacher in Macon, Georgia. Her parents are from Central America, which is how she learned about aspects of the Belizean culture, which are incorporated into elements of her work.

“Creating art exploring different aspects of cultural identity with an emphasis in ethnic identifying patterns I feel would inspire others to explore deeper how we associate and represent visual aspects of multiculturalism and how those aspects are present within ourselves,” stated Phillips.

Phillips stated she wanted to create figures that would live in the world she created in her drawings. These drawings include different patterns and motifs, that create a unique world for these figures.

The exhibition is full of bright colors that play off of each other and stand out.

“The whole collection works off of each other to make each piece feel a part of the overall work,” she said.