Jean-Patrick Guichard, founder of Gallery Miriam, is bridging the African / African American divide through art education and cultural exchange
Host: Tomeka M. Winborne
Description: Jean-Patrick Guichard, founder of Gallery Miriam, is bridging the African / African American divide through art education and cultural exchange
Runtime: 25:29 minutes
ABOUT JEAN-PATRICK GUICHARD
Jean-Patrick Guichard was born in Brooklyn, New York but raised in Guinea, West Africa. His love of art has been cultivated by his many travels within sub-Sahara Africa including Senegal, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Congo-Brazzaville and Kinshasa.
Mr. Guichard has worked for various for profit and non-profit organizations as a program manager on natural resources management, childhood survival, conflict resolutions, international visitors’ exchange, and information technology programs. These positions broadened further his continued travel through sub-Sahara Africa.
As a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Black Studies, Mr. Guichard has solidified his love for African art. On founding Guichard Solutions, LLC, he has opted on programming young African artists and their American counterparts to a “cultural experience” that can bridge any divide between Africa and the diaspora.
Using exhibits, business skills workshops and related exchanges under its “Education through Human Development in the Arts” program, he has helped young African artists to better market their works in their home environments and abroad. The typical young African artists presented by Guichard Solutions will have broadened their outlooks because of their introduction to the U.S. and the exchange opportunities afforded.
Mr. Guichard has recently moved to the Atlanta, Georgia area where he has continued his art exchange program, bringing artists from the continent. Since his settling in Atlanta, he has hosted monthly dinners at his house themed “Art and the Senses”. This dinner series brings a full sensory experience with the sights, sounds and taste of Africa and its impact on contemporary culture through art, food, discussion and commerce.
Mr. Guichard continues to foster artistic, cultural and academic understanding and exchanges between young African artists and their American counterparts through Gallery Miriam.
In conversation, NPR’s Ailsa Chang sat down with Angie Thomas, the acclaimed author of The Hate U Give, and the movie’s director George Tillman Jr., to discuss how the book and film connected with their own personal experiences.
The Hate U Give tells the story of a teenage girl, Starr Carter (Amandla Stenberg), who is a part of two worlds: the poor, predominantly black neighborhood where she resides, and the white, affluent prep school that she attends. Her worlds are turned upside down when she witnesses the fatal police shooting of her childhood friend, an unarmed black male teenager. Following the tragic shooting, Starr is drawn towards a life of activism to stand up for her friend, who is called a “thug” and other misinformed names by the media, and to protest the wrongful actions of police brutality.
George Tillman Jr., the director of the film, spoke with Chang about what it was like to base certain scenes from the movie on actual talks he received growing up. He discussed how emotional it was to bring these scenes to life, particularly because he now has a teenage son himself. “This deals with history,” he said. “This deals with survival and how we can continue to stay on this earth without police brutality or being shot or being killed. You know, this is part of the fear of the African-American community.”
Another significant theme in the book is how Starr navigates between her two worlds, and how she feels an internal pressure to erase her blackness while at her fancy prep school with her white classmates. Certainly, many of us can relate to this uneasy pressure growing up or currently in the workplace, and this double life is actually based on author Angie Thomas’s life experiences.
Growing up, Thomas also lived in a mostly black neighborhood while attending a predominantly white, private college in Mississippi. She described her own experiences as a struggle, and practiced the art of code switching. “I would make myself more presentable I thought. I was careful of how I spoke. I was careful of how much emotion I showed,” Thomas said. “And it was a struggle because so often I was silent on things that mattered to me. And I would experience microaggressions from my classmates, and I was silent about them. I never called out the racism.”. READ MORE........