University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative Awards Student Krystle Lemonias for Spurring Social Awareness

Profile image of an African American woman made up out of patched together clothing pieces.

Congratulations to USF MFA student Krystle Lemonias who received a First Place Award from the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, in cooperation with the Art Center Sarasota. The exhibition competition and event attracted applications from throughout the state of Florida.

Krystle is a Jamaican-born printmaker. In her artist’s statement, she tells the story about how immigrant Black communities have contributed richly to the workforce in the U.S. despite facing systemic inequalities. “My artwork explores these women’s contributions that play such an integral role in the function of our society despite the obstacles in their environments.” Her winning works are entitled: “Portrait of the Present” (woodblock print on fabric); and “Eeh, Hole Still!” (woodblock print on fabric). Visit and

Recently Krystle’s work was featured in Blum & Poe’s “Show Me the Signs” exhibition in Los Angeles where over 100 artists have come together to directly benefit the families of Black women killed by the police and to also address other systemic problems. “These artists have created powerful pieces in the form of protest signs to fight for change. All of the artists have donated their signs to be auctioned, with 100% of the proceeds going to the African American Policy Forum's (AAPF) #SayHerName Mothers Network. Founded by AAPF in December 2014, the #SayHerName campaign works with the mothers and families of Black women, girls, and femmes killed by police to elevate their stories and fight for justice.” -Dr. Kimberlé Crenshaw, AAPF co-founder, and founder of #SayHerName.

Recently selected from a pool of more than 1,000 national applicants, Krystle’s artwork and profile will appear in the highly respected New American Paintings, No. 153, MFA Annual Issue. Artists are chosen by renowned curators in order to select those artists whose work deserves to be seen by a wider audience. With thousands of artist entries each year, only a limited number make it through to the jurying process.

Image of a woman changing a baby's diaper.

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