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Title: "To Nurture a Child"
Media: Oil on canvas
Time to complete: 13 hours

Few subjects interest me as much as American slavery, especially in South Louisiana. I was inspired by the thorough and profound relationship between slave Nannies and their Master’s children. The mother and child nurturing process is special and incredibly important in fostering a child’s love - but what happens when the Caucasian mother is replaced by a West African slave? A slave who has had her own children taken from her, yet she is given full responsibility of her Master’s children - including duties such as scolding and even breastfeeding when possible. As most mothers know: these duties build an unbreakable bond.

There have been so many misconceptions about slave Nannies for so many years in popular culture. From the incendiary stereotypes in Hollywood to the Aunt Jemima syrup in your pantry - our understanding of WHO they were and WHAT they did has been skewed.

I wanted to capture the emotionality of the relationship and most importantly, celebrate their lives. Racism is learned, just like love. I want to think that all of the children that were raised by slave Nannies were at least exposed to the sensitivities of their caretaker and grew up to become more sensitive to slavery than their parents, but that can’t be proven.

So what is that at the bottom of the painting? Tobacco was a cash crop and the process took at least 15 months from sewing the seed to selling for profit in Europe. I included it in this painting because I wanted to establish the correlation between cultivating the crop and raising a child from birth, a child that is not yours. Even though slaves invested blood, sweat and tears into tobacco, it did not belong to them and they saw no profit from it. Being owned or not, the idea that they could put so much into something that benefited them in no way is intriguing to me. Although the Nanny and child relationship was very similar, at least their investment into the child was returned through innocent, unbiased love.

-Jamar Simien

High quality print details:

* Signed on the lower right hand corner and on the back by the artist in ink.
* Printed at 2880 dpi using an Epson 3800 Professional Printer with archival Epson Inks.
* The piece is placed in the shipping package with an acid free foam core board.
* Printed on highest quality Epson Professional Paper

The piece includes a white border around the artwork to allow for optional matting or framing. Convo me for matting and framing options.

Items are shipped within 2 business days.

At this time, orders will be shipped to Contiguous United States customers only.

PLEASE NOTE: Seller only accepts PayPal payments. Additional shipping costs may occur if purchasing more than one item. Please contact store owner for details.

I am happy to print the image smaller if you would like, such as card size, 4x6, 5x7 or 8x10- convo me for options.

Please stay in touch-

Jamar Simien
jamar.simien [!at] gmail.com

Original oil painting- Southern fine art print- 11" x 14"- historical oil painting giclee- art print- FREE SHIPPING



  • Handmade item
  • Materials: Oil painting, Oil paint on canvas, slave art, canvas, original art, original painting, southern art, louisiana art, louisiana painting, painting
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 21 reviews
  • Favorited by: 15 people