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The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

The A&T Register

The Student News Site of North Carolina A&T State University

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History in the Paintings: Jaylen Brannon’s artwork takes Greensboro’s African American Atelier

History+in+the+Paintings%3A+Jaylen+Brannon%E2%80%99s+artwork+takes+Greensboro%E2%80%99s+African+American+Atelier
Photo Courtesy of Jaylen Brannon

When it comes to Black history at N.C. A&T, the culture is embedded within the university, and it fuels the success of the students that are creating their own legacy each day. 

Charlotte native Jaylen Brannon, a junior visual art and design student is making his own legacy, taking his artistic talents to the African American Atelier. 

The budding young artist participated in this year’s Black History Month exhibition, under the theme of  “Black Resistance.”  But his journey as a visual artist began at a very young age. 

“When I was seven, I found my mom’s flip phone that had a camera and I fell in love with [photography] and video,” Brannon said.

As he grew older, his love for art and its many forms also grew. His curiosity led him to explore different art mediums and research more about his craft.

“I like drawing with charcoal, that’s my favorite art medium,” Brannon said. “My go-to art style is based on my feelings, whether that’s painting, collage, or charcoal.”

Brannon does not shy away from the inspirations of his work. For his featured piece in the African American Atelier, a certain revolutionary and infamous party influenced his work. 

“My inspiration behind my art is from the Black Panther party and those who came before,” Brannon said. 

A deeper focal point of inspiration for his piece came from the revolutionary African American activist who co-founded the Black Panther party, Huey P. Newton. 

A specific quote by Newton resonated with Brannon. 

“The revolution has always been in the hands of the young.”

He connected his artwork with the quote, naming one of his exhibited pieces, “The Revolution Will Triumph.”

“I just wanted to let Mr. Huey know we are working for a better tomorrow,” Brannon said.

Through his art, Brannon wishes to empower his people. His background and the history of his community are important factors in his art.  

“It’s so important that we learn from those before us,” Brannon said. “Knowing our history keeps our heads high, as we can reflect on how strong our people before us were.” 

Brannon’s artwork is currently being exhibited at the African American Atelier till March 31st, at 200 N. Davie St. in Greensboro, North Carolina. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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