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Grant Recipient

Sky Martins

Windgate-Lamar Fellowship


Artist Statement

The realm of fine art has traditionally been regarded as a mirror reflecting the values, beliefs, and cultural norms of society. However, growing up as a Black Femme and rarely ever seeing myself or my experiences reflected in the realm of high craft and fine art, my journey through this world has been marked by a stark absence of representation of my identity and experiences. This absence drove me to critically examine the inclusivity and representation within the art world and the broader societal structures that shape it. The term "high craft" itself perpetuates hierarchical divides between different forms of craftsmanship, reinforcing elitist Western-Eurocentric notions of value. As a Black Femme artist, I confront the lack of representation within the fine art world. Through my exploration of glass craft, I aim to deconstruct and reconstruct concepts of beauty and worth. I investigate glass craft and its historical underpinnings using a fusion of mixed media from glass to traditional African hair braiding techniques and performance art, confronting and challenging societal standards while recontextualizing the Black voice. I transform the likeness of the Black femme into symbols of resilience and strength while integrating diverse mediums to dismantle preconceived notions and hierarchies to celebrate the richness of identity. My work intentionally rejects the confines of "high craft," embracing experimentation, imperfection, and the decentralization of Eurocentricism. Using glass as a metaphor, its transparency symbolizing visibility, fragility representing the human psyche, and mirror-like qualities facilitating self-reflection, I prompt viewers to reconsider their perceptions and biases.

Bio of the Artist

Organization Background

Sky, a multi-disciplinary artist and performer, originally from the DMV area, is currently based in Upstate, NY, pursuing her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Beyond honing her craft, she harbors a deep-seated aspiration to integrate her artistic endeavors with the healing power of art therapy.

Driven by a desire to use art as a vehicle for connection and exploration, Sky's practice serves as a tangible manifestation of her experiences as a queer Black multiracial woman. Using a multitude of mediums — from glass to hair to performance to found objects — she endeavors to create work that authentically reflects her lived realities. Through her art, she seeks to not only share her narrative but also to foster empathy and understanding among viewers, inviting them to embrace differences and cultivate openness in their hearts and minds. Sky's journey as an artist is deeply intertwined with her aspiration to become an art therapist. She envisions merging her creative expertise with therapeutic principles to support others in their healing journeys, using art as a catalyst for self-expression, introspection, and personal growth. As she continues to develop her skills and expand her artistic horizons, she remains steadfast in her commitment to using art as a tool for connection, empowerment, and healing.


Cheltenham, MD



Glass and Textiles


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