New York artist turns BLM plywood into sculpture

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR OF "ROCKIT BLACK" SCULPTURE, ARTIST, TANDA FRANCIS, SAYING:

"Hi, my name is Tanda Francis, and this is my piece, "RockIt Black."

This sculpture pays homage to the Black Lives Matter movement

It’s made of plywood used to board up storefronts

during the protests in summer 2020

Location: New York

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR OF "ROCKIT BLACK" SCULPTURE, ARTIST, TANDA FRANCIS, SAYING:

"To transform this this plywood that was on the streets during the Black Lives Matter actual uprising is like... it's amazing. It's like a blessing to have that in my hands, like to have that as a material to work with because, you know, it actually lived life on the street, like during that time. And it had it has the markings of it, too, to the point where I actually left a little bit of it here to remind us as... to remind the people who visit it, like... where this plywood has come from."

Francis was one of five artists chosen

to participate in The Plywood Protection Project

The sculptures will remain on display until November 1

(SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR OF "ROCKIT BLACK" SCULPTURE, ARTIST, TANDA FRANCIS, SAYING:

"In my work, I actually use the color black and actually try to elevate it, kind of contrast to how it's been sort of stigmatized in our culture. So, I just, you know, show it in the most divine light. And here we go, like, this is like what we have here, "RockIt Black."

SOUNDBITE) (English) AUTHOR OF "ROCKIT BLACK" SCULPTURE, ARTIST, TANDA FRANCIS, SAYING:

"I want to change the dialogue around the... around the word "Black" itself and, you know, just show it as... in its... in its glory.’’

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