Originally from Silver Spring, Maryland, Angel Carlin developed a deep appreciation for art and self-expression at a young age. Her talents and interests were encouraged and nurtured by many art teachers from elementary school to high school. During her undergrad, Carlin realized her passion for creating artwork and soon her style of painting was recognized throughout the art department, and across Xavier University of Louisiana’s campus. This led to her “Best in Show” prize in the annual campus exhibition and she went on to be one of the only art minor to present in a senior show. It was during her senior year that she published her first research article in a scholarly journal, detailing the historical mistreatment and placement of the black female body in the United States. After earning a concentration in Women’s Studies, Carlin had the honor of being a guest speaker on a New Zealand based podcast hosted Dr. Cat Pause’ of Massey University, where she spoke about her research on fat intersectional politics. Carlin graduated in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and she went on to have her artwork displayed in shows in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
Inspired by the full figured fertility figurines of the Paleolithic period and the statuesque body types portrayed in the paintings of the Renaissance period, Carlin’s work boldly displays her views of gender, sexuality and self-expression within the context of intersectional feminism. Carlin identifies as a queer African-American, cis gender woman, with Native American heritage. She proudly reclaims the term “fat” as a positive means of describing her body type and political placement within the rapidly expanding and diverse Body Positive Movement.
Carlin currently works in New Orleans where she has the unique privilege of acting as the founding arts educator and Related Arts chairperson at an under-resourced, all-male charter school. She strives to encourage youth to engage with visual arts by thinking critically and applying art content to an understanding of their place in the world, especially while reflecting on sex, class, gender, race and history. Carlin is currently building her portfolio of multimedia art pieces, developing Afrocentric based creative arts curriculum, and working on an article that outlines fat, black sexuality, and gender performance as represented in the media. She also works as the Visual Arts Manager for the New Orleans Media Arts Institute and hopes to attend graduate school to serve urban youth as an art therapist, researcher, and curriculum developer. Carlin also recently started her own paint party business.