Clarence Heyward – Swim At Your Own Risk
Dimensions: 41 x 31″ framed
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Clarence Heyward draws from his and his family’s life experiences for his compositions, such as in his “Swimming Lessons” series. He and his family decided to go for a swim while on vacation in New Orleans. As he recalls, the other families who were all non-Black soon left the pool, much as his wife had predicted. This moment brought into sharp relief the ways in which his family was being scrutinized under different rules. Heyward’s stance, against the flower-print backdrop, directly addresses the histories of segregation that continue to reverberate in the lives of Black Americans on a daily basis.