The Sanctuaries | Washington, DC

Collective Artists

Jeremy Darby

 Photograph: Dejah Greene

Photograph: Dejah Greene

Artist Statement

When I make my illustrations, I use repetition, familiar symbols, typography, rural or urban phrases, and the history and memories of home. I am a black male from Charleston, SC - my cultural upbringing, understanding of history, interest in all things fictional (comic books, movies, cartoons, & cultural mythos) and my fascination of rural phrases, symbolism and context make me the artist I am and play a big part in my creative process.

I make art that retells history for newer minds, captures the present to encourage change and delves into the future for fiction’s sake. I strive for visual storytelling that hasn’t been drawn yet. My medium depends on the what’s needed and the required timeline. My go-to medium is pencil, pen & ink and sometimes watercolor. I aim to make work that speaks to people who strive and struggle in the face and weight of institutionalized oppression. I am influenced and inspired by the same things that brought me up and I aim to create inspiration for those striving forward. My goal is to create concepts that appeal, engage and encourage the interactivity of the viewer to the circumstances of social, political and cultural stances.

Stop Bombs,
Save Families

Pen & ink, red pencil, digital color, and stock photo (2016)

Created in collaboration with fellow Collective artists in response to recent events in Aleppo, Syria. The concept is that of the world watching a live open-casket funeral with many of the victims wide awake and in need of help.


We Defy Trump’d Up... 

Stock image, adobe photoshop & illustrator (2016)

Created in collaboration with a fellow Collective artist. A call to action and platform for people against hate speech to speak and empower themselves and others.

Emanuelle 9

Pen & ink, brush, watercolor, digital color (2015) 

This was created in collaboration with The Charleston Chronicle newspaper in Charleston, SC. It was created in tribute and memorium to the nine lives taken by a white supremacist at Mother Emanuelle African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) in Downtown Charleston.

The art draws inspiration from the colorfully created stained-glass windows of A.M.E. churches. The church and anvil at the top is the logo of the denomination, which represents the A.M.E. church’s origins started during slavery where services were held in a blacksmith shop.

Empower 'Hoods

Stock photos & photoshop (2016) 

This was made in response to a creative prompt for one of our gatherings in the Collective. I was out-of-state in my hometown (Charleston, SC) and one thing that struck me while home was the continued progression of gentrification of Downtown Charleston. The culture, language, and aesthetic of the black people on the coastal city were being pushed out by real estate companies, hipster business, college residence costs and the issues of “heirs’ property”. Instead of pushing the city’s cultural foundation and workforce out for profit and the illusion of better/safer = whiter/richer; neighborhoods should be empowered and enriched ‘as is’.

Post-Election Chaos 

Pen & ink, red pencil with markers (2016) 

This was made in response to a creative prompt for one of our gatherings in the Collective: What is your response to the 2016 Election and the new President-Elect?

I summed up the past, present, and future political media coverage and responses as chaotic as children in a ball pit. The red and blue balls represent all the votes. One child is trapping everyone in by building a wall. A Trump-like child is beating up a kid. All the children of color are escaping or ignoring the chaos. A proud mom is happy while holding her Trump-like child. There’s graffitti on the inner walls that read, “We tred on u!”, “Forgotten”, and “Keep in!!”


Digital illustration (2014) 

Made in response to police brutality towards black people, specifically the hashtag referencing Eric Garner's death. I wanted to take a widely popular and familiar representation and repurpose its audience for awareness. Plus, for the sake of ‘guerrilla marketing’, it was printed on stickers.

People United Will Never Be Defeated

Pen & ink, watercolor, digital color (2016)

Created in collaboration with The Charleston Chronicle newspaper as cover tributes for MLK Day.

Still We Overcome

Pen & ink, pencil, marker, watercolor (2015)

Created in collaboration with The Charleston Chronicle newspaper as cover tributes for MLK Day.

Holiday’s Strange Fruit

Pen & ink, digital color (2016)

A personal art series called “Interlude.Songstress” that depict a black female singer(s), a line from one of their famous songs and a representation of the lyric with a specific color scheme.

Pictured: Billie Holiday - Strange Fruit.

The Sanctuaries