Meet Jill Knox – Visual Artist, “Nigra Sum, Sucka!” – Feb 14, 2011

Jill Knox loves claiming that she was born in New York City because growing up in the suburbs of Connecticut wasn’t very exciting. Luckily for her, being exposed to the arts was not a choice but a requirement in the house she grew up in. Having a mother who sits on the board of the Contemporary Art Museum in San Diego and a father who sat on the board of American Ballet Theater at Lincoln Center and later chairing the Studio Museum in Harlem, its no wonder that she has embraced the arts in the way that she has.

Jill received her BA magna cum laude from NYU’s Gallatin School of individualize Study, focusing on Theater History and Sociology. After completing a thesis entitled “Theater that Challenges Social Structures from Ancient Greece to the Present” she went on to receive her MFA in Acting from the Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium. There, she performed in a variety of roles, such as Bianca in both The Taming of the Shrew and Desdemona a Play about a Handkerchief and Doña Estrelita in Tony Kushner’s Hydriotaphia , which led to her being cast in Trinity Rep’s main stage production, “All the Kings Men”. Since graduation in 2008, Jill has performed in HAIR at the Hangar Theater and JUMP JIM CROW: How to Produce Your Own Minstrel Show for the Subjective Theater Company.

Jill filled her insomnia-ridden graduate school nights with paint-brushes and ladders, creating large murals on the walls of her loft in RI. This has led to developing a unique style that has been commissioned for weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries.

Jill now presents the collection, “Nigra Sum, Sucka!,” an exploration of what being black has meant for her, inspired by the works of other inspirational African American artists, political figures and free thinkers. Merging pop art with black history, she hopes to create a body of work that gives voice to, and speaks for, others who share her unique African American experience. Sucka.

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About blackboardplays

Familiar with the collectives for poets and other Black writers that had been created over the years and slightly envious of that sense of community, I became curious about a similar place for playwrights. I wanted to see Black playwrights, actors and directors excited over each others work and supporting each other. I was longing for a “home” as a Black playwright and wanted to see other Black artists in that home, not to be exclusive, but because there was a void. I was also eager to find other Black playwrights who shared a passion for the craft of storytelling. The stories of the Black community are diverse and are often hidden behind the blockbuster stereotyped versions. The non-artistic Black community, not involved in the writing of these stories, is yearning to see themselves in our stories and it is apart of my life’s work to ensure that happens. the cell is any artists’ dream: a new space that supports you as you grow, committed to new work and the art. This allows the writer to focus on the craft - to focus on their story. Nancy Manocherian and Kira Simring welcomed this idea with open arms and instantly became apart of what we later called “Blackboard Reading Series”. Every reading will conclude a twenty minute talk-back with the audience. Dialogue with the community is essential to what we want to do with the series. As we grow, there may be more readings a month, play festivals and of course productions. We want to nurture and develop new black playwrights for this generation! Thank You! Garlia Cornelia Jones Founder, Blackboard Reading Series
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One Response to Meet Jill Knox – Visual Artist, “Nigra Sum, Sucka!” – Feb 14, 2011

  1. Pingback: Monday, February 14, 2011 7pm Blackboard @ the cell: Finding Harlem Dawn and Nigra Sum, Sucka!

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