Obi African American Community

Canal Builders II" (1989) by Ann Tanksley

Canal Builders II” (1989) by Ann Tanksley

This is a piece of art work that reflected the African American community from slavery times to the 1960’s; the community was a place that worked hard, had male leaders, and everybody worked hard to complete a goal that the community needed.


There appears to be nine people in this painting. All of the men appear to be working towards on goal. The mean also appear to be wearing blue pants, a white shirt, and a yellow sun hate. The ground appears to be red. Aesthetically the paints work well together and they do a good job of blending together create a smoky image. There appears to be black and gray pillars in this image. In the background there are black and blue mountains. The figures in the painting appear to be going in odd directions that are not normally associated with the work that these people are doing. The combination of the smoky image and the odd angles that the people and the other objects are in work well together, because by itself it would not be very pleasing aesthetically it would not be smooth at all. Overall this is a very beautiful piece of art.

I believe that this painting is a representation of the African American community during slavery to the 1960’s. The Title of this painting is called “Canal Builders” so these men are all working toward a goal to build this canal. A canal provides fresh water and it will help the entire community do task that is essential to life. So the men are willing to work hard so that the community will be better off. I believe the time period being portrayed is between 1960’s to slavery. This was a period where the entire African American community as a whole was united as one because they were all being oppressed and people had to stand up to protect the community as a whole. If the men were not leaders and they did not work hard and provide the community would suffer.

The painting is smoky and the shapes are not painted in the traditional style so it emits the feeling that this is an idea from the past. The painting was done in 1989 so maybe this painting is an expression for what the African American community is lacking and what it is missing from its past. I believe this painting is a response to all of the problems happening right now in the African American community. It is also saying that the African American community has come a long way from the days of slavery, but we cannot lose all of the values and the successful attributes that the community had that helped it advance to the state that it is currently in.

In conclusion this painting is a reflection to the past of the African American community as a whole, it gives praise to the fact that we have moved forward but it also says that we need to regain the qualities that the community once had which were unity, hard work, and male leaders.

Tanksely, Ann. Canal Builder. Digital image. Aviscafineart. Atlanta Creative Loafing, 14 July 2005. Web. 01 Oct. 2013. <;.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


One comment

  1. Overall, your description of the painting was well done but there is a slight overuse of the word “appears.” There are a few grammars mistakes but the your blog did a good job describing your interpretation of the painting. In the future, for your topic sentences in your body paragraphs, allude to the thesis. Great job though!! 🙂

Comments are closed.