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Randy Rogers: Five Questions with Artist freedom clay

Randy Rogers: Five Questions with Artist freedom clay

North Carolina is home to many artists that embody diversity, culture, and creativity. One of those dynamic artists is Randy Rogers who is artistically known as freedom clay. When I first saw his artwork, I immediately noticed his art tells a story. It reminds the viewer of moments in time such as his piece entitled “4 Little Legacy Girls” or “Clay Man the Bull” which are engaging examples of artistic expression. I had the opportunity to ask freedom clay five questions about art, where he draws his inspiration, and what North Carolina artists he likes. 

1. As an artist, when you visit art museums or exhibitions, what is that experience like for you? 

As an artist/creator, when I visit art museums/exhibitions, it’s nourishing to my being. The experience provokes so many vast feelings and emotions from euphoria, nostalgia, pride, elation, anger and sadness. The experience also inspires moments of stillness, reflection, meaning making and inspiration. It’s like having a favorite meal and I’m intentional about taking my time to savor every delectable bite. Moreover, these special moments are centered in gratitude because I’m able to bring ALL my senses to the experience: creating a well-rounded and multi-faceted moment in time.

2. Where do you find inspiration to create your own artwork?

I find my inspiration to create my own artwork from lived experiences, observing the lived/living experiences of others, nature, other expressions of art, music and responding to our current and past socio-political conditions. My artistic inspiration is mostly inspired by life and life events.

3. In North Carolina, what art spaces do you like to visit? 

I enjoy the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, Hayti Heritage Center, Sabrina’s Gallery in High Point, Nasher Museum of Art in Durham and the 21c Museum Hotel Durham. I also really enjoy visiting art spaces in Asheville and other quaint towns in NC.

4. What is one of your favorite art exhibits you have seen at the North Carolina Museum of Art? (If any) 

Wowzerz, I’ve seen so many incredible exhibits at the NC Museum of Art; however, I would have to say one of my favorites to date is the “50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair” because it reminded me of my childhood/adolescent experiences going to see the Ebony Fashion Fair Show annually at the High Point Theatre. It was always a memorable night of Black elegance and excellence. I also loved getting “dressed up” for the occasion.

5. Who are some of your favorite artists in North Carolina? 

This is another challenging question because there are so many talented creatives in NC.  Some of my favorite artists are Beverly McIver, Clarence Heyward, Shambomedina, Lennie Vernet and Sabrina Tillman. This is just a handful. 

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Photography provided by Headen Photography

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