NewsBlack History Month 2024


Kansas City artist highlights Black creatives through portraits in Black History Month series

Taylar Sanders
Posted at 9:10 AM, Feb 27, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-27 10:10:35-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Everyday when Taylar Sanders wakes up it's a time for her to create and express herself through art.

"Consciously I was searching for an outlet and I think subconsciously I was trying to find a way to find my voice again and just somewhere along the way I lost it," Sanders said. "I was feeling like either express or explode."

For the past six years, she's found her voice through painting.

"I knew as a kid that I always loved to draw and so I said 'why don't I try painting,'" Sanders said. "I know that was nothing but God that led me to that direction."

Now she brings her passion to the canvass.

"I'm always trying, especially when I paint portraits, what I love about them is I'm always trying to get the essence of that person come across," Sanders said.

This year, she's highlighting Black creatives through her Black History Month series.

"I really just wanted to honor Black people that came before us," she said. "And paved the way for us and opened up these opportunities for us."

When people see her portraits, like one of Nina Simone, she wants them to leave 'Feelin' Good.'

"People would always tell me I'm too sensitive and now I lean into that," Sanders said. "My art, it's an asset, so I want to people to feel something and I want it to be positive."

She's done a number of paintings this month, including Nikki Giovanni and Malcolm X.

"A lot of times I'll use a softer pallet, but you can still see the strength within the person," she said.

Sanders wants to create a bigger picture of what Black History means.

"There was a time that I wouldn't be able to be a Black female painter. That wouldn't have been an option for me so really everyday that I'm able to wake up and do what I love I think about them," Sanders said. "Just to make sure that their memories live on and also in the present time just celebrate my Blackness."

Taylar has completed 30 paintings so far since she's picked up a paintbrush. To learn more about her upcoming projects and series, click here.