No matter how well you speak, how nicely you dress, or how educated and “respectable” we make ourselves appear, we are still targeted, attacked, and/or perceived as threats. It’s tragic when people of color can’t even gain a higher education without fearing for their safety. Yesterday myself and a lot of other black students, poc’s, and allies staged a great demonstration in solidarity with those suffering at Mizzou. So happy I got to be a part of it.

So my university is starting to put these up around campus today.

“The point here is to move beyond the binary of either you’re this or you’re that… ” - Paris Prince, Special Assistant for LGBTQ Initiatives

Hand, from “Unmasked: A Visual Dissection”

Nickolai Walko, a graduate of the VCU School of the Arts (Richmond, Va.), has developed a unique and eye-catching form of image-making that hybridizes classical drawing and pop art. After placing a layer of black masking tape on a brightly colored panel or wall, covering the surface from edge to edge, he draws elaborate designs, often anatomical, directly on the tape and then, using an X-Acto blade, meticulously cuts out sections of the tape to create a strong-contrast image. Finally, to prevent tape decay, he sprays the work with a polyurethane coating. The finished product conjures, in equal measures, the anatomical sketches of a Renaissance master and the bold iconic works of Andy Warhol.

Given his anatomical subjects, Walko likens his process to a medical operation, with the tape serving as skin and the removing of the tape representing the exposed anatomy.

The show at Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, 509 N. 12th St., Richmond, Va., runs through January, 2016. More details.