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17-Year-Old Artist Shows the Feelings & Emotions of a Young Black Girl Through Art
By Devyn Bakewell, Assistant Managing Editor
Published December 8, 2022

Artist, Equestrian and Influencer Zoie Noelle (courtesy photo)

Seventeen-year-old Zoie Noelle Brogdon is a bright young woman with a lot to say and the ability to show. The artist, equestrian and influencer is making her mark in this world, with major accomplishments in her art, writing, equestrian world, and even an appearance in Beyonce’s “Lemonade” video for the award-winning single, “Daddy’s Lessons.”

More recently, in November, Zoie Noelle put forth her first solo exhibit, Feelings & Emotions, an artistic exploration of the poem, “Invicitus,” by William Ernest Henley. Feelings & Emotions portrays the complex emotions of a young Black girl, forced into isolation for more than one year due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. During the pandemic’s periods of isolation and learning, Zoie Noelle grappled with America’s racial reckoning, sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other people of color at the hands of the police.

Feelings & Emotions is presented by NAACP Hollywood Bureau Arts, Culture & Entertainment.

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In an interview with the Los Angeles Watts Times, Zoie Noelle discussed her art that came out of the unnerving times of COVID-19, as well as some of her other major accomplishments.

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“I’d like to say I’ve always had a passion for art,” shared Zoie when asked her relationship with art first began. “But I really started to get into it at the beginning of the pandemic, during my freshman year…I had no other ways of really expressing myself or really showing how I like to express myself at all.”

Zoie Noelle is a mostly self-taught artist, with her only instruction and training being in school.

2. Zoie Noelle’s first exhibit “Feelings & Emotions” was presented by the NAACP Hollywood Bureau Arts, Culture & Entertainment in November (courtesy photo)

She continued, “For me, art really was a great outlet to be able to put all of my energy, a lot of my time, a lot of my focus and kind of hone down on my skills. So, before that, I was mostly doodling and sketching.”

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Fifteen sketches and paintings were showcased in the exhibit Feelings & Emotions along with an original poem from Zoie Noelle titled, “Melanin.”

“Each piece was made over a vastly long period of time,” Zoie said. “My first piece “Black Girl” was actually made right after the murder of George Floyd, and kind of during the brutalization and other killings of Black Americans during the time of quarantine. And that kind of sparked a chain reaction of, truly, a bunch of difference pieces.”

The fifteen pieces in the Feelings & Emotions collection broadcast three different emotions the artist experienced during the time of the pandemic. The art shows a lot of different colors, vibes, and even some explosions. However, some of the art shows sketchbook work.

Zoie Noelle is a Champion Equestrian (courtesy photo)

“We have our really calm, mellow mediums, where everything was done either in pencil, pen, color pencil or even watercolor, but everything was fairly monotone and grey. And then we move onto three other pieces, where I’m getting a bit restless in quarantine. I was kind of hung up for too long, and I start to express myself with colors,” she shared.

Zoie continued, “I dabbled in acrylic, and really liked how the pain moves and then I went kind of crazy. And that’s where my punk rock, different aesthetic came along. And now we have every color being thrown at you, everything being very explosive, and jumps out of the page.

“Then, when we go back into me going to school, my art kind of becomes depressed again because I’m now using my energy and my outlet kind of goes into other spaces. So, my art started to reflect that mellow and calmness. But it’s vastly different than what it started with.”

Art was not only a therapy from Zoie, but also a form for her to share her voice with the world. Oftentimes, there are writing components that come with the artist’s work. She also shared that she never spends longer than one day on a piece.

4. During this period of isolation and remote learning, Zoie Noelle grappled with America’s racial reckoning, sparked by the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other people of color at the hand of the police. In these unnerving times, the teen found solace and peace through her art (courtesy photo)

“You’ll never just see a picture by itself—there’s a picture and than there’s a description added to it,” explained Zoie Noelle. “When I say description, I’m not saying this girl has blue eyes to represent something, it’s showing the emotion I had at the time. And I’m talking about sonder and that feeling that everyone is going through a similar experience. So, I try my best to have my writing to say the story that you may not pick up on initially while looking at the piece.”

Along with her amazing artistic accomplishments, Zoie Noelle Brogdon is also a champion equestrian in the English jumper arena. Her accomplishments include Champion of the 2021 United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) Zone 10 Horse of the Year Award; Individual Gold in the 2021 USHJA Zone 9 and 10 Team Jumper Championships, And Reserve Champion in the 2021 National Championships.

Zoie being a true representation of Black Girl Magic, the Watts Times needed to know what advice she has for young girls trying to follow her footsteps in achieving and working at your dreams with confidence.

Her advice is: “You can’t do it unless you start. And, if you have as many doubts as I first had, the best thing to do is just start it.”

What’s next for Zoie Noelle? College! She plans to make her next moves at a university in Fall 2023, however, her art and accomplishments won’t stop there.

Keep up to date with Zoie on her Instagram (@iamzoienoelle). Also check out her website www.zoienoelleart.com.

Categories: Entertainment | News (Entertainment)
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