Executive Director, Owner & Visual Artist
Makala Fields, a native of Rhode Island, is based in Atlanta and serves as a Middle School Art Teacher at KIPP Vision Academy where she encourages art as activism with her scholars. Through her collage work, Makala explores storytelling, black culture & identity, womanhood and activism. Her work provides an intricate intimacy that showcases stories through visual and textural imagery.
In 2012, Makala designed an Art Connect class for KIPP South Fulton Academy, where she integrated art, reading and social-studies to help students master their learning. In celebration of National Women’s Awareness Month in March 2013, Fields collaborated with The Evolution of She and HOBI Studios and organized the first annual She Is an Icon Awards and Art Exhibition highlighting local SHE-ro’s and icons.
She curated two solo exhibitions in 2013 and 2014 at HOBI Studio and 595 North in Atlanta after two 365 day collage projects.
In 2015 she served as a teaching artist in the Woodruff Arts Centers’, Arts for Learning Program. In 2016, Fields curated the first annual Youth Art Month Festival at KIPP Vision Academy, which has become a yearly event.
Over the past 15 years, Fields has pioneered a series of Youth Art programs with organizations such as KIPP Metro Atlanta, The Southwest Arts Center, The Providence Black Repertory Theater, Big Picture Schools, and Atlanta’s Westview Neighborhood Association. She was featured in a documentary produced by the Coalition of Essential Schools and the Big Picture Company that highlighted passionate teachers, sharing best teaching practices and the commitment it takes to mentor and teach urban high school students. Fields also has been featured on 11 Alive News, Voyage ATL and received the Class Act Teacher Award. She is a member of Tila Studios and C4 Atlanta, where she is working on her professional development.
Fields is currently working on an art curriculum based on artists–art technique from the African Diaspora. She is also working on a body of work that explores the black woman’s’ commitment to intentional self-care.
Click below to view Makala’s resume and learn more about her past work.
“My artwork connects history, storytelling, self-identify and education. The idea, ‘provoke a little thought and you have the power to change the world’ resonates deeply with me and is expressed through my work…”
The Artist’s Statement
My artwork connects history, storytelling, self-identify and education. The idea, ‘provoke a little thought and you have the power to change the world’ resonates deeply with me and is expressed through my work. I attempt to draw an emotional connection through my art and I want people to be inclined to ask questions and possibly do some independent research.
As a lifelong educator, lover of art and history it is my natural inclination to combine all three elements in my work/pieces. I like to use a variety of mediums such as primary and secondary documents, pieces of nature, photographs and acrylic paint to help convey the message of any given piece of work. Having engaged subjects as diverse as the Cuban Revolution, depression in black women and the american prison system, my work reproduces familiar visuals and words, arranging them into new conceptually layered pieces.
I am a firm believer that an unspoken word is simply a thought, idea or dream waiting to take flight, waiting for a voice or the strength to soar and explore its’ possibilities.
I adore creating collages and approach the creation of each and every one as a journey and exploration. These journeys are spiritual, and historical and visually thought provoking. Through my collage journey’s I enjoy giving those thoughts, dreams and ideas courage to grow and soar.
Within my fifteen years of teaching, I’ve always used a variety of art forms to not only assist students in mastering state standards but develop student leadership and creativity.
Project-based learning and art integration have proven to be strong/powerful teaching aids in my classrooms. The strengths I have gained through my instruction will carry over and be an asset to aspiring art students everywhere.
I am excited about the next phase of my art career and my overall growth. I am currently experimenting with different mediums and textures within my collages. I’ve been played with air dry clay, block printing, drawing, painting and sewing. My goal is to create large scale, portrait collages that tell historical stories of growth, activism and self-care. I am researching and studying the history of black women and self-care. I’m asking questions of elders from all walks of life as I examine their choices for self-care. I am also exploring how their self-care choices were consciously or subconsciously passed on through generations.
This research will help influence my next collection of collages. My goal with this collection is to share how women can morph and grow wings after committing to self-care. Sometimes we form butterfly wings, eagle wings, queen bee wings or even the mythical rising phoenix wings. Our wings symbolize reaffirmation of our freedom, our bravery and our strength.
I’ve also been researching the work and techniques of Faith Ringgold and Njideka Akunyili-Crosby. I admire their methods of visual storytelling as I’m aspiring to create large scale work.