Mother by Paige Payne
Growing up, I did not realize what a huge impact the art that I was seeing had on me. I grew up surrounded by religious art, butI never saw any depictions of my Heavenly Mother. I believe that that is a huge reason I am just now discovering my relationship with her.
Now layer on top of that the fact that religious art mostly depicts white people, and white deity. Even though we have no idea what they look like. As a child, this reinforced that they looked like me, which was all fine and dandy for me, but what about all my friends of different races and ethnicities?
I think about how impactful it would have been for me to see, from a young age, people of all colors, shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and races included in religious art. And more specifically, depicted as deity.
If it would have been impactful to me, imagine how impactful it would be to a little Black girl, Hispanic girl, Asian girl, etc etc. I can’t control other artists, but I can control what I create. So I painted this. I hope that it will resonate with some people. Perhaps make them think twice about what our Mother in Heaven looks like. And comfort a girl out there who has not yet seen someone that looks like her in religious art.