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Columbus Makes Art Presents Wendy Kendrick on Continuing Aminah Robinson’s Legacy

Nick Dekker Nick Dekker Columbus Makes Art Presents Wendy Kendrick on Continuing Aminah Robinson’s LegacyArtwork by Wendy Kendrick, the 2021 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellow.
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Columbus-based artist Wendy Kendrick recently completed her tenure as the 2021 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellow, one of two programs created by the Greater Columbus Arts Council, in partnership with the Columbus Museum of Art, to support African-American, professional visual artists and honor the legacy of the beloved Columbus artist. This fall Kendrick was able to work in Robinson’s home in the Shepard neighborhood, which has been preserved as an artist studio. In 2022, Richard Duarte Brown will serve as the next Aminah Robinson Fellow.

Wendy Kendrick

Nick: How long have you been creating?
Wendy: I’ve been making art since around the age of four. As a kid I was into coloring books, paper dolls and drawing. My mother was an educator and at the end of the school year when teachers were dumping out remnants of paint and paper, she would scoop some up and bring it home to me. At the age of 11 years I began getting plays from the library and organizing neighborhood theater with the other kids. I was the director and costume designer and all the parents would come to our performances.

Nick: Who are some of your inspirations?
Wendy: Aminah Robinson, as well my fourth grade art teacher Mrs. McGee, and artists Romare Bearden, Bing Davis and Allen Rohan Crite.

Nick: What was your reaction to receiving the 2021 fellowship?
Wendy: I was surprised – I almost didn’t apply this year! I was prepared to resubmit for the following year. So many emotions washed over me at once when [Arts Council Director of Grants & Services] Alison Barret called to share the exciting news with me. My mother has dementia and I wish that I could have called her up and shared with her.

Nick: How do you describe your work?
Wendy: A celebration of colors, shapes and people.

Nick: How do you anticipate it will be working in Aminah’s studio?
Wendy: I’m looking forward to having the honor of creating within Aminah Robinson’s studio, allowing her spirit to envelop me. I believe that the fellowship will allow me time with the local community, getting to know former residents of Poindexter Village, the Shepard community and others. Most importantly, I hope to grow in the sense of being able to introduce others to my passion of creating with fabric, especially since we all have a story to tell.

Artwork by Wendy Kendrick, the 2021 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellow.
Artwork by Wendy Kendrick, the 2021 Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson Fellow.

Nick: What does her legacy mean to you?
Wendy: Aminah Robinson’s legacy means so many things to me. In my eyes she was an incredible artist who didn’t waver in the many stories she told through her art. She created what was most relevant to her: people and community. Her legacy speaks to me and is an encouragement to keep creating, especially the stories that I’ve yet to tell.

Learn more about Wendy and her work at artbywepa.net. Look for more news about Richard Duarte Brown, the 2022 Aminah Robinson Fellow.

Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting and advancing the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art. Learn more about local artists, organizations, public art and events at ColumbusMakesArt.com.

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