Jamaican artist Michelle Drummond becomes the first black woman to receive a solo art commission from the City of West Palm Beach


Jamaican-born artist Michelle Drummond has become the first black woman to receive a solo art commission that will be permanently installed in the city of West Palm Beach through her Artlife WPB program.

ArtLife WPB is the city’s premier arts program that commissions and showcases a variety of projects created by artists at all career levels. The program requires that funds totaling 1% of the city’s public and private development projects be set aside for the inclusion of art. Since its existence, the ArtLife WPB has awarded numerous art commissions to artists, including a black female artist for a temporary installation.

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At the recent City Commission meeting on June 14, history was made, for the ArtLife WPB program and the city, when Mayor James and the City Commission unanimously approved the creation and installation of the artwork. of art entitled “The Metamorphosis” by Drummond. the Mandel Public Library in West Palm Beach, making her the first black artist to receive a solo art commission for permanent installation since the program began. A milestone in Drummond’s career and a momentous event for the city of West Palm Beach.

The artwork, which Drummond says is inspired by the philosophy that knowledge and transformation align and enable change and rebirth, honors the city’s Mandel Public Library as a resource for all in the purpose of advancing society. It will be placed in the urban living room of the library.

Congratulating Drummond on this historic milestone, Sybille Welter, Administrator of Public Art and Culture for the City of West Palm Beach, said, “We are thrilled to have an artist whose work reflects the cultural diversity of the city. Drummond pushes the field of textile arts by creating works on canvas with a three-dimensional point of view; in bright colors, it produces objects of contemplation.

Michelle Drummond is a mixed media fiber artist. Her practice involves the use of multi-colored and multi-weighted fibers (threads), glue and acrylic paint on and off canvas.

Drummond has lived in the United States for 26 years and has been creating art for 23 of those years. Her work has been featured in 20 exhibitions in South Florida over the past three years, including at the Cornell Art Museum, Art Palm Beach and Art Basel in Miami.

Drummond said she was honored to be the first black female artist to receive this commission.

“My hopes of finding an audience who would truly appreciate the uniqueness and beauty of my works have come true. It is an honor, especially to be the first black artist and also of Jamaican descent to receive this art commission permanent solo audience of the City of West Palm Beach’s ArtLife WPB program,” she told CNW Network.

“This opportunity will not only provide me with the platform to exhibit my work to a wider audience, but will allow me to have a positive emotional and mental effect on the residents and patrons of the West Palm Beach community through my works. .”

Drummond says the project has a timeline of six to nine months.


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