Lula Mae Blocton is a Michigan-born African American abstract oil painter, who traces her heritage to a rural community near Selma, Alabama. Her fifty-year creative career had been an attempt to visualize her rich and complicated racial, cultural and personal history.

She graduated cum laude with a MFA from Indiana University, where she worked with Samia Halaby and James McGarrell and received a BFA from the University of Michigan. She subsequently spent 25 years as an art educator, retiring in 2013 as emeritus professor at Eastern Connecticut State University. At ECSU, she established the Art Department and developed the BA in Studio art, as well as serving a term as Department chair and working to create what became the Pride Center, providing information on LGBTQ+ issues and support for LGBTQ+ students on campus.

Blocton uses authentic African designs to develop patterns that explore the contrast between geometric and curvilinear forms, creating a perception of transparency by layering colors, all of which have social and political connotations. The omnipresent rainbow spectrums, along with black and white, are intentional suggestions of race and LGBTQ human rights issues, as well as representing her commitment to social, racial and economic justice.

In 2020, her painting Summer Ease entered the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, after traveling with the exhibition, Art After Stonewall 1969-1989. Other paintings and drawings are in the collections of First Fairview Capital Inc., Eastern Connecticut State University, The Connecticut State University System, Albright Knox Museum, Prudential Life Insurance Company, The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Larry Aldrich founder of the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art and Indian University.

The lavishly illustrated An African American Experience: Through Color and Pattern by Lula Mae Blocton will be published in 2021.


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