Artist Statement

The STORYBOX project uses storytelling through mural arts, documentary techniques and new technologies to discover the untold stories of Atlanta’s Westside community. This project explores the idea of “HOME” as it pertains to the African-American experience in this country.  Inspired by the need to increase understanding across evolving neighborhoods, this project supports underrepresented communities in creating, maintaining, and sharing their own stories. An augmented reality mural will invite the viewers to explore stories often excluded or stereotypically characterized in mainstream narratives. In developing new narratives, THE STORYBOX illuminates voices that may be discarded and left unheard.

 

Artist Bio

TeMika Grooms is an Atlanta-based artist, author, and arts advocate.  Her interest in art and storytelling began early in life under the influence of her mother, an artist, educator, and librarian.  Creative art practices provided TeMika with an outlet during challenging transitional periods as a military child settling in Columbus, Georgia. Under the direction of wonderful teachers, she was provided a well-rounded education that supported her artistic talent and ability to capture and animate the human form with strong, fluid lines and expressive movement.  To expand on her traditional art making skills, TeMika is exploring the use of technology in art by creating digital paintings and surveying new avenues to bring interactive art to the public.

TeMika was selected for the international 2008 Taller Norte Portobelo Artist-in-Residence program to work on an illustrated sequential art project and present an art workshop to Spanish-speaking children in Portobelo, Panama. Since that time, she has produced multiple books in children’s literature and community art programs to support creative initiatives.  Her published works include a sugary-sweet picture book titled “Nana’s Favorite Things” by Dorothy H. Price (Eifrig Press) and “Save the Crash-test Dummies”, an engaging non-fiction book by Jennifer Swanson (Peachtree Publishing).  Most recently, TeMika was selected as a 2021 Mentee for the We Need Diverse Book Mentorship Program.

She is the Founder and Program Coordinator for KidsLitATL, a grassroots organization to support a diverse group of creators in Atlanta, Georgia.   She hosts several events each year to support children’s book writers and illustrators in developing their work.  She currently volunteers with the international organization Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) as the U.S. Illustrator Coordinator and serves on Board of Advisors Equity and Inclusion Committee to impact the inclusion of diverse voices within the children’s book publishing industry.

TeMika enjoys hiking, traveling, cultural dance, and playing in her garden.  She lives on the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia with her cat, Nina Simone, and her two daughters, Thing One and Thing Two.