Culture Shock

Artist Statement

My work is a reflection of my passions and creative inspirations. I am hugely influenced by urban music, culture, and the political issues and injustices that have been occurring in the United States of America. Being a mixed-race woman myself, I am constantly exploring and learning about the different cultures, races, and struggles that inhabit the population of the US. Most of my work celebrates a culture or a person that has been hugely influential to my life and art. I combine oil painting, charcoal drawing, bright colors, patterns, digital graphic elements, and mixed media. I use these design elements to bring awareness to the person or culture in a celebratory manner—one where I bring out the beauty in the subject’s uniqueness or in what makes them different. Through my art, I bring their character to life—their essence and light. I use all these different elements to portray how these people have impacted me and the world, and to simply shed light onto people or experiences that have often had a sheet of darkness over them.

A 2018 graduate of Monmouth University with a BFA degree, Rhaiah Spooner-Knight was born and raised in New Zealand. After graduating high school, she was offered a Division I women’s basketball scholarship at Utah Valley University. She was originally a graphic design major for three years, until deciding to transfer athletically to Monmouth University in New Jersey. There, she played the remaining year of basketball and also switched her major to fine arts. Now twenty-four years old, she currently resides in Southern California where she freelances multiple disciplines of art and works as a designer and marketer for a start-up company.