Paper Bag Test

The ‘paper bag test’ was (and is) used to separate black people into two categories – those lighter that a paper bag, and those darker. When I first heard about the test, I remember thinking, “Which paper bag are we using?”

This piece explores race as a social, as opposed to scientific, construction. I invite people to reflect on how they see their own skin tone and the skin tones of others, and to participate in a complex dialog about race and stereotypes, in contrast with what is often a shallow and reductive conversation in our culture.

Paper Bag Test has been exhibited recently in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, North and South Carolina and Tennessee.

If you are interested in hosting the project, I’d love to talk with you.

Waring School, Beverly MA

ArtPrize 8, City Hall, Grand Rapids MI
Visual Art Exchange, Raleigh NC
701 Center for Contemporary Art, Columbia SC
Waters Gallery, Florence County Museum, Florence SC
City College, San Francisco, CA
Lamont Gallery, Phillips Exeter Academy, Exeter NH
Artfields, Lake City SC
Appalachian State University, Boone NC
Gallery 51, MCLA, North Adams MA
High Point University, High Point NC

Greensboro College, Greensboro NC
Reece Museum, East Tennessee State University, TN

Artist Statement →

pbt_citycollege_blackasthispencil-copy pbt_boone_ghost_howifeelinmyownskinv2-copy

pbt_citycollege_highyellow_asonginchinese-copy pbt_boone_chocolate_forthoseofuswhoareactuallybrown-copy

pbt_citycollege_darkie_fist-copy pbt_boone_nude_unnatural-copy

pbt_citycollege_white_theboxicheck-copy pbt_citycollege_wishforothers-copy

pbt_boone_olive_memyentirelife-copy pbt_citycollege_redskin_hillbillylakota-copy

pbt_exeter-bandaid_yellowpeople-copy pbt_boone_porcelain_crowdedbag-copy