Art History & Photography
Florence Blackwell uses she/her pronouns and is an interdisciplinary artist and art historian graduating in 2021. She was born in Bensalem, Pennsylvania in 1997 and grew up in the city of Philadelphia. In 2017, Florence moved across the country from Pennsylvania to Denver, to begin her pursuit of a BFA in Photography and BA in Art History. Florence has been an active member of the Auraria Campus since her first year, working as a gallery attendant at the Emmanuel Art Gallery and as an undergraduate assistant at CU Denver’s Women & Gender Center where she has facilitated diversity, equity, and inclusion training to both students and faculty on the intersections of gender, class, and race. Art, critical research, and activism are at the forefront of Florence’s career objectives, and she plans on continuing her education by earning an MFA and a Ph.D.
As both an artist and scholar, Florence’s practices complement one another and often merge together. Her ongoing body of work addresses the real-world issues that impact her life as a Black transgender woman living in the United States by assembling imagery from diverse sources to construct provocative collages. Her Art History thesis, entitled “Whitewashed: The Unwritten History of Black Africans in Renaissance Europe,” interprets artworks featuring Black people produced during the early modern era, conducts an historiographical analysis of Renaissance studies since its formation in the 18th century, and follows its revitalization in the United States amid World War II. Florence honors her authenticity and hopes this quality can be a positive influence for those she encounters.