Nashville’s Frist Art Museum features Latoya Hobbs’ “Carving Out Time” art piece. Photo by Anabelle Coker | The All State

In celebration of Black History Month, Nashville’s Frist Art Museum has dedicated the next couple months to showcasing several galleries that highlight the work of different African American artists—one of these being Latoya Hobbs. 

While African Americans in art are traditionally represented in historical positions of slavery and labor, Hobbs aims to bring to light an underrepresented theme in modern day art: aspects of normal black life—family, womanhood, self-love, creative labor and other universal themes.

Hobbs specializes in painting and printmaking, her work also emphasizing the black female body and the stereotypes that still remain among black women but through the lens of her own life.

Upon a visit to the Frist Art Museum, her exhibition “Carving a New Tradition” can be seen which features one of her most extensive pieces, “Carving Out Time,” comprising of 15 skillfully carved large panels organized into five scenes that portray a simple day in the life of Hobbs as a woman, mother, wife and artist.

The extensive detail of the carvings makes it impossible to ignore the creative and ambitious labor taken to achieve completion of this piece as well as others, further emphasizing the portrayal of a normal life of balancing priorities. 

The final scene of Hobbs’ “Carving Out Time” displayed in the Frist Art Museum, featuring some of her other works of art within this single piece. Photo by Anabelle Coker | The All State

However, other pieces seen at the museum like “Sunday Morning,” “A Moment of Care” and “Note to Self: No Rest for the Weary” all depict the behind the scenes of her “Carving Out Time” piece by emphasizing the human need for rest and self-care.

Hobbs is currently a professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art and is also a founding member of the Black Women of Print organization working to help bring past, present and future black print artists’ work to light.

Hobbs is just one of several black artists showcased at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, but her art can be seen in permanent collections of other museums, colleges and foundations around the country.