Meet Sukenya Best!
Young people inspire me!
Their energy, curiosity, imagination, playfulness, innocence, and
spirit attract my attention. When I think about portraiture and
its long history around the world of capturing a person’s power, prestige, glamour, rank, honor, enlightenment, and prominence, my thoughts quickly stream to Psalm 127 which reminds me of a child’s prominence: calling children rewards from the Lord, arrows in a skilled warrior’s hand.
Whether I use acrylic paint, watercolor, or printmaking I endeavor to capture these traits in large colorful portraits. In many of my paintings, they are in an expressive pose, surrounded by an imaginary place, and holding an object connected to biblical teachings. I am moved to show young children of color spiritually protected and capable of carrying the armor of God. So I depict them interacting with a sword, shield, bow/arrow, pearl, or passage of scripture. During this time of racial injustice and civil unrest, it is especially important that I create artwork that is vibrant, piercing and imaginative, to inspire others to continue dreaming.
Desiring to reveal the glory and wonder of God’s gifts to our world, I gravitate towards using luminous colors and expressive movement. My tools are often untraditional, resulting in the desired effect of texture. My acrylic paintings reveal an interest in Baroque style light source (chiaroscuro) and layered brushstrokes in the background often gravitate towards the style of Expressionism.
Sukenya Best is a painter, printmaker, dancer and author. She is an alumna from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK), where (in 2007) she earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Arts: Printmaking. In 2001, she graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University's (VCU) Department of Painting and Printmaking. Before Sukenya received a Bachelor of Fine Arts, she studied abroad to Europe and Africa.
Sukenya was an art Instructor at Virginia Union University, where she taught visual art courses in the Fine Arts Department. As faculty, she attended a college tour-abroad trip to Italy and France, and afterwards published a cartoon book called Chocolate Bella. Her book is available for purchase through Lulu, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.