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4 min read

VolunteerMatch February Artist Feature - Try Cheatham

February 22, 2021

“Bus-Hood” by Try Cheatham

Note: This VolunteerMatch Young Ambassador Series post is written by Abelard Lormond. The Ambassador series blogs offer practical insights into causes and volunteer opportunities championed by VolunteerMatch or members of our partner network, to provide personal insight and shine a light on the unique work of our nonprofit partners.

Every month, VolunteerMatch features the work of artists who are passionate about social justice causes. All the earnings that are made from promoting the artist’s work in VolunteerMatch’s Match Studio Collaborative shop are given to a charity of the artist’s choice. 

For the month of February, VolunteerMatch is featuring the artist, Try Cheatham. Cheatham has worked on a variety of pieces, all which give messages of social injustices. “My work confronts the fundamentally opposing ideas of experience and metaphor,” says Cheatham on her official website

One of Cheatham’s most inspiring works is one called “Bus-Hood.” In the painting, a little black girl is seen sitting in the front of a bus in the ‘whites only’ section. The art does well in providing the same message that those like Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin were working to get out there. 

To better understand Cheatham’s intentions as an artist and her motive for getting into art in the first place, I asked her a few questions regarding her work. Here are the questions and her official responses:

  1. Q: What inspired you to get into art?

    A: Before any formal art lessons in high school or college, I taught myself to draw by copying images of people of color from Ebony and Jet magazines my parents had in our home. When declaring a major came into question it seemed only natural to pursue the business side of a well loved hobby.
  2. Q: What made you want to use your art to tell a story?

    A: As a double minority, a majority of the time as an individual and an artist everything I say is political and needs to be considered before delivery so why not use my voice as a positive narration.
  3. Q: What are some future projects that you have planned?

    A: Recently placed 15th out of 613 from 23 countries in the 11th Annual “Cityscapes” Art Exhibition at Light Space and Time. So continuing to focus on larger venues and competitions.
  4. Q: What is your favorite piece and why?

    A: Banksy girl with a Balloon- There is always hope-I did my own version!
  5. Q: What are some other topics that your work covers?

     A: Comfortably confronting experience and metaphor without overthinking it, less is more. Gender, culture, class intersections.
  6. Q: What kind of opposition have you faced for your work? 

    A: As a female of color, over sexualization in context is always an issue in my opinion. If I’m not picturing myself provocatively alongside my art, I'm not selling. Or the same as the content, female nudes or predictable depictions of “culture reference"
  7.  Q: On the other hand, what kind of support have you gotten for your work?

A: The same detractors also are the reasoning people support me because I’m unique and don’t provide stereotypes in my work.


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Abelard Lormond

Written by Abelard Lormond

I joined VolunteerMatch to help spread the messages of as many nonprofit causes and organizations as possible. I typically write blogs in order to raise awareness for many of these causes. In doing so, I am also increasing my writing experience, which greatly benefits my interest in the subject.