Precious Blake is a visual journalist and non-profit administrator living in Baltimore, MD. Precious received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with a concentration in Printmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA.) Precious makes pathways for equitable access to the arts by working with arts education advocates, leading workshops, curating conversations, and creating collaborations that combine her passion for journalism, illustration and highlighting historically marginalized voices. The latter work began with Creatives of Color, a visual journalism project that collected the stories of culturally diverse Baltimore arts figures through type and illustrations. She has been featured in multiple web and print publications such as Hyrsteria, harp +sword.co, the Artist Exchange Radio Show and the Baltimore Sun. Her selected exhibitions include FRONT, Main Zero Gallery, and Peter Bruun Studios.
In addition to her artistic practice, Precious has led or co-presented at numerous panels and conferences such as the Common Field Convening, Maryland Citizen for the Arts’ Arts Lab, Towson University’s Equity in Education Conference, and Light City Festival’s Youth Labs. She has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships including the Social Innovation Fellowship with Starting Bloc, Women of Color in the Arts Mentorship Program, Baltimore Corps, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, and MICA Sidney Lake Award. She has worked in several capacities at arts education organizations in the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. region. Currently, she is the Arts in Education Program Director for the Maryland State Arts Council.
My work is a collection of moments that combine fantastical deferred dreams with lived reality. Taking visual journalism as a concept and into an artistic mode of working, the illustrations I create are a reflection of my inquisitive nature, keen listening, and visual interpretation of history. The people I feature in my work are brought from margin to center, standing tall on the illustrated stage built just for them. In the end, there is a permanent artifact cementing their experiences that cannot be erased from the history books.
The portraits and patterns I create bend visual space and typography while honoring storytellers. Listening to the people and cities they live in take the form of on-site drawings, monoprints, relief linocuts, handwritten type, and digital collage. My work contextualizes the physical and metaphorical spaces I experience and interprets them through colorful reimaginings.
Resume available upon request.