Karla Robinson is a Bronx-based artist who believes deeply in arts’ ability to transform culture and create community. She uses poetry, facilitation and immersive installation to support people at the intersection of multiple state institutions.
Poetry, participatory public altar installations.
Tell us about an artist, curator, activist, or project that has influenced or inspired you?
I’m very inspired by the work of Kerry James Marshall, both the breadth of his body of work and the scale within which he creates. His relentless dedication to bringing the black experience from the margins to the center in the historically racist, classist world of fine art reminds me to protect my artistic vision from the white gaze.
Tell us about a place in your neighborhood that is meaningful or special to you.
A meaningful place in my neighborhood is the garden I inherited from my mother when she became an ancestor. I’m touched by the way it impacts people as they encounter it. Kids stop and want to help water even if their parents or older siblings are clearly in a rush. People apologize when they curse and turn the corner to see us tending to it. Elders stop to talk about everything and nothing. They say it’s a sign of spring, that the cold won’t last forever. I think it also reminds us our next growth spurt is just a season away.