WILSON, N.C. — April 21, 2017 — Endia Beal, assistant professor of art and director of the Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University, will be the featured speaker at the 115th annual commencement exercises of Barton College in Wilson, scheduled for Saturday, May 13.
“We are delighted to welcome Endia Beal as this year’s commencement speaker,” said Dr. Douglas N. Searcy, president of Barton College. “Her extensive, significant work has influenced new attitudes and approaches in the art world and beyond. The authenticity of her engagement with audiences, through her creative photography and videography, will help graduates consider their place in the world and make meaning of their experience.”
Beal is a North Carolina-based artist, educator and activist, who is internationally known for her photographic narratives and video testimonies that examine the personal, yet contemporary stories of women of color working within the corporate space.
As a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008, Beal earned a dual Bachelor’s degree in Art History and Studio Art. During her undergraduate studies, she attended the Studio Art Center International in Florence, Italy, focusing on High Renaissance Art History and the romance languages of the Italian culture.
Following graduation, Beal was one of four women nationally selected to participate in ArtTable, a program designed to promote women of color in the visual arts. Representing the Washington, D.C. district, she assisted in the curation of the Andy Warhol Exhibit at the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery of George Washington University. Beal used this experience as a platform to advocate for people of color within the arts. She was instrumental in creating marketing campaigns that redefined the way communities interact with art. Her work experience includes the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, the Connecticut Center for Arts and Technology, and “The New York Times Magazine.”
In 2013, Beal graduated from Yale School of Art, with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography. While attending Yale, she created a body of work that explores the relationship of minority women within the corporate space. Her work was fully developed during the artist-in-residence program at the Center for Photography at Woodstock. Beal aligns herself with artists such as Latoya Ruby Frazier and Dr. Deborah Willis, who use photography as a vehicle to question conformity and gender norms.
Beal is featured in several online editorials including “The New York Times,” “Time Magazine’s” Lightbox, NBC, BET, “The Huffington Post,” “Slate,” and “National Geographic.” She also appeared in “Essence,” “Marie Claire Magazine,” and “Newsweek Japan.” Beal is the recipient of the Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund Grant and was a finalist for the Julia Margaret Cameron Award in Berlin, Germany. Her work was exhibited in several institutions, including the Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, Michigan, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Art + Culture based in Charlotte, the Aperture Foundation of New York, and the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute.
Beal currently serves on the National Advisory Board for Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Public Art Committee for Piedmont International Airport, and Art Nouveau of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem.