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bio/cv

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Photo courtesy of Jonathan Kolbe
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 Biography

Lavett Ballard  is an Mixed Media Visual Artist, Art historian, Curator, and Author. She holds a dual Bachelor’s in Studio Art and Art History with a minor in Museum Studies from Rutgers University, and an MFA in Studio Art from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.            Ballard’s art has been commissioned as a cover twice for Time Magazine first in March 2020 for their special multi cover edition for the 100th anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and in February 2023 for a cover and interior art for Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson’s essay about her book CASTE: Origins of our Discontent. Ballard’s artwork has also been used in film, television, and literary publications in addition to being acquired by many private and public institutional collections nationally and internationally. In 2023 a NJ State Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship, and in in 2024 for the inclusion of her art in the  NAACP Image Award winning Non-Fiction book 'The New Brownies' Book: A Love Letter to Black Families by Karida L. Brown & Charly Palmer.' 

         Some of her private art collectors include the author Roxanne Gay, actor Hill Harper, Grant & Tamia Hill collection, the Petrucci Family Foundation Collection. Her work has been acquisitioned by the Francis M. Maguire Museum, the  African American Museum of Philadelphia, the Colored Girls Museum, the U.S. Art in the Embassies, St Joseph’s University, Syracuse Universities- Community Folk Arts Center, and Jule Collins Smith Fine Art Museum at Auburn University Collections among many others.

          Ballard views her art as a re-imagined visual narrative of people of African descent. Her use of imagery reflects social issues affecting primarily Black women’s stories within a historical context. Her current body of work uses collaged photos adorned with paint, oil pastels, and metallic foils. These photos are deconstructed and layered on reclaimed large and small aged wood fences. The use of fences is a symbolic reference to how fences keep people in and out, just as racial and gender identities can do the same socially. This fusion of wood and photography offers artwork that both explores her southern roots, yet  visually speaks volumes to continuing themes within her community.

Photos of the artist courtesy of  the Mighty Eggplant
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Photo of the artist courtesy of Ted Waters
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