Kansas native, Kamela Eaton earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Wichita State University. She has spent many years working as an illustrator and is now a contemporary painter.
Currently, Eaton’s practice is focused on figurative paintings that explore all aspects of identity. Her African American, working-class, Midwestern upbringing is reflected in her bold, colorful, straightforward, no-frills perspective on emotional spaces and experiences. Unapologetically and beautifully rendered, her paintings address many difficult issues from mental health, racism, sexism, gender, heterosexism and classism to ancestral memory, homeland terrorism and cultural appropriation.
My art is my protest, my struggle, my joy and my offering - Kamela Eaton
United States Of Mind
This ongoing series of figurative paintings explore the “states of mind” the artist navigates and negotiates while living black, female, queer, working class and depressed in America. Sometimes comedic and at other times sobering, Eaton toys with metaphor and symbolism by marrying everyday common objects, subjects and scenarios with large detached heads. The recurring bodiless heads are used not only to represent feelings of detachment and isolation associated with depression, but they also symbolize how historically and systematically, those on the margins of society have often been treated as less than whole human beings. At the same time, Eaton leans into her African ancestry by referencing the significance of the human head or Ori, thought to be the center of character and emotion, within West African Yoruba art, religion and culture. With large eyes that gaze at the viewer with resolve, the heads possess a "coolness" that is another nod to the Yoruba ideal of being.
If you are interested in obtaining usage rights for any of the images, purchasing any available paintings or wish to commission an original piece, please contact Kamela.
1910 N. Lorraine Avenue, Wichita, Kansas 67214