Grambling student selected for Candyman HBCU Artist Showcase

Ja’Marcus Willis, a visual and performing arts student at Grambling State University, is among the historically black university and college student artists who brought cinema to life through art.

HBCU Buzz, a multimedia company, partnered with Universal Pictures and Jordan Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions for the Candyman HBCU Artist Showcase. Six HBCU student artists from across the country were selected to interpret the social impact and art of film by creating murals.

The recently released film is a sequel to the 1992 horror classic. It starred the bee-infested, hook-wielding character of Candyman, which frightened moviegoers and illustrated the treatment of marginalized people in downtown Montreal. Chicago.

Ja'Marcus Willis, a visual and performing arts student at Grambling State University, was one of six students featured in the Candyman HBCU Artist Showcase.

The sequel is set in Chicago again – this time at the location of Cabrini Green’s original housing projects now gentrified. An unsuspecting artist learns the sad and unfair story of urban legend Candyman and wants to bring the story to life through his art. However, this can turn out to be a capital mistake. The film deals with the social climate and injustices of today.

Willis’ work, entitled “Candyman Vision Perspective”, is on display in the campus bookstore. He describes it as “a bee’s reflection of its eyes within the eyes which show the symbolism and descriptions of what the film as a whole is and is made up of.”

Willis, of Springhill, Louisiana, said he was interested in art from an early age.

“It’s always been a part of my life and it was first a hobby, but now it’s my best passion,” he said. “I want to make a career out of it somehow.”

Willis said he appreciates the creativity and uniqueness of being an artist and feels grateful and blessed for his gift.

Rodrecas L. Davis, head of the Visual and Performing Arts Department at GSU, said Willis is “largely inspired by the graphic design and aesthetics of street art”.

“There is an immediacy to his work that was perfect for the emotional content of this film,” Davis said. “The opportunity, which required students to work within a deadline, collaborate remotely, and synthesize a topic’s broader concerns into a singular picture – all of which we ask our majors to experience. . “

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