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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

Seeing Myself as an Artist
Jes Carr ’24

Jes Carr ’24 gave this talk at a Wednesday night chapel service organized in celebration of Black History Month by Onyx and Essence. An example of Jes’s art can be viewed below the text.

Today I will be speaking about how being black has impacted my life and also being a black artist. I feel like being a part of the black community is really important to me because of its closeness, and because of how well-knit it is—especially in the SAS community. All the traditions, connections, and history that black people have creates this tight bond that keeps us together no matter what, and I personally feel that in the black community at SAS. I always enjoy hanging out with them, and whenever I do there’s always this sense of comfort and contentment that emphasizes my love for being black. Whether it be me vibing with James and Kim, or jokingly getting into heated arguments with Yasir about how Tabata’s Black Clover is peak fiction & how Oda’s Onepiece isn’t (both are peak but Black Clover is just better), I genuinely enjoy each moment of our time together, and that strengthens a bond that I forever hope continues getting stronger.

Speaking of anime, that has had a huge influence on me as a black artist. I make digital artwork using pictures of my favorite anime/manga, arranging them into cool collages/wallpapers. I’ve made a Big 3 one (consisting of Naruto, Onepiece, & Bleach), a Black Clover one, a JoJo Part 6 (Stone Ocean) one, and I plan on making a Tokyo Ghoul one once I finish reading the manga. I really enjoy making them, even though they take a long time to make, but I’m always satisfied with my result at the end because I really love doing them. To me, art in general is something that has a strong impact on yourself or others because of the feelings and emotions portrayed through the artwork. I used to never see myself as an artist because I limited the definition of art to things like drawing and painting. Even now I sometimes don’t see myself as an artist. But I’ve come to learn of the wide variety and forms that art can have. Using the things I love to create artwork is really an enjoyable experience and this experience drives me to do more. Overall, being a black man at SAS and also being a black artist is really wonderful, and it has all had a great impact on my identity, which I’m both grateful for, and proud of.