Lesser Known Artists: Lucille Malkia Roberts


Malkia Roberts ( 1923 ), “Spectrum” Acrylic on canvas 1972

This image, according to the artist, represents acceptance of the present and anticipation of the future. The woman is the past, and the Expressionistic style and upward gaze symbolize the future. The flame-like palette “eliminates the possibility of negative space and ensuing objectivity” (203).


Malkia Roberts ( 1923 ), “Guardian” Oil and Acrylic on canvas 1986

Human figures are often found in Roberts’ art, but abstracted. The theme of this piece is “women of color” and how they are “protectors of family and tradition.” She is quoted as saying, “My ‘gathered visions’ are evoked and implied rather than realistically delineated in the traditional sense. They have evolved and are wedded in patterns of light and color, reflecting my emotional and spiritual reactions to places and ‘people of color’ around the planet, with whom I have bonded. The energy invites viewers to unravel the themes and come to their own conclusions.”

Information from University of Iowa


The Female Gaze






are pressed together

under a veil

of chalky peach

 that drapes over your sleeping spine

and my

shivering shoulders

to protect us

from open air

and honesty—

Every day we dress

like dolls

with cherry cheeks

and nodding heads

because you are a daisy

and I am a tulip

and we

live only

to be


“The Female Gaze” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork: Spectrum by Lucille Malkia Roberts

The Way She Painted Me


This is the way she painted me


sloppy brushstrokes

of indigo

and cloudy-white.

—- messy holes

that spread

and leak


marbled splatters of nose and eyelid. 

It looks nothing like me


when I touch her,

I can feel it

sweating into the pores behind my eyelashes–

staining my sight

like the horror of a bloody


“The Way She Painted Me” by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse

Artwork: No Sudden Movement by Nina Schroeder