Tina Lawson – When my kids were growing up, it was important they saw images of African-Americans.
While her oldest daughter Beyoncé is covering Vogue, shot by the first Black photographer in its 126-year history – Tina Knowles-Lawson is nurturing her own kind of art.
Miss Tina’s fascination with art began with a trip to Houston to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Company at 14 years old.
She and her husband, actor Richard Lawson, now own the WACO Theater Center, an arts immersion mentoring program, where she’s recently had a full circle moment. She took the WACO students to see Alvin Ailey as their introduction to the arts. In a recent interview, Tina talks about her art collection, which includes pieces by artists Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Toyin Ojih Odutola, and Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle.
On exposing daughters Beyoncé and Solange to Black art as children:
When my kids were growing up, it was really important to me that they saw images of African-Americans.
I’m so happy that I did, because both of them are really aware of their culture, and I think a lot of that had to do with looking at those images every day, those strong images.
On being introduced to the arts with an Alvin Ailey performance:
I saw those dancers and all those well-dressed black folks…It made me want to get out of my little town [Gavelston, TX] and have a bigger world.
On her first expensive art purchase – a $500 abstract painting from a furniture store:
It was probably a reproduction, but it was so beautiful and it was in a frame. I discovered then how important [art] is for your home. It made me feel good every day.
In her first time she tried bidding for art over the phone:
I got on, and next thing I know I bought a Sam Gilliam, I bought two Picasso lithographs. I was like, ‘What did I do?’ I tried not to buy them, but they found me and they threatened to sue me.