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Drawing Studio celebrates Juneteenth with pan-African art exhibit

Event highlights art and artists typically overlooked in traditional art spaces
Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 19, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Drawing Studio in midtown Tucson was filled with jubilation and artistic energy as the local community came together to celebrate Juneteenth with a special Pan-African art exhibit.

The event, organized by artist Randiesia Fletcher, aimed to honor the past while looking toward the future by providing a platform for artists who are often overlooked in traditional art spaces.

“Sometimes Pan-African artists don’t get the opportunity to be shown and displayed in more prominent institutions,” Fletcher said. “And so there are gatekeepers that keep certain artwork out because it seems to be too ethnic.”

Her goal was to create a space where these artists could showcase and sell their work, demonstrating their professionalism and talent.

The exhibit featured a diverse array of Pan-African art, showcasing the vibrant and dynamic work of black artists in the Tucson area. The event was designed not only to celebrate Juneteenth—the day that marks the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in 1865—but also to break down barriers in the art world.

“My goal was to make sure that the gate was down, that we were all welcome into a space to present artwork, to sell artwork, to be the professional artists that we are,” Fletcher added.

The exhibit served as a kickoff for a larger movement among black artists in the Tucson area. “This event is one step along that journey as I and others who are involved here today are looking to be together in presentational spaces,” said artist Lin Lucas. “Collectively those spaces transform because we are no longer able to tolerate what has come before.”

The Pan-African art exhibit will be on display at The Drawing Studio until Friday, June 28. The Drawing Studio is located at 2760 N. Tucson Blvd.

Fletcher and her group plan to hold similar events throughout Tucson for the rest of the year, continuing their mission to uplift and celebrate Pan-African artists.

Joel Foster is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9 who previously worked as an English teacher in both Boston and the Tucson area. Joel has experience working with web, print and video in the tech, finance, nonprofit and the public sectors. In his off-time, you might catch Joel taking part in Tucson's local comedy scene. Share your story ideas with Joel at, or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.