Varnette Honeywood, 59

MOST EVERYONE knew her distinctive style due to the Cosby Show back in the 80s, where her work was featured prominently, but really Varentte Honeywood’s depiction of the day-to-day essence of African American life rituals permeated so much of popular culture. Her work influenced everything from book cover design to greeting cards and everything in between. There was something about the fluidity of these gesturing silhouettes attired in bright colors at church, at home, in the kitchen — gathered in some sort of celebration of each other and self. Honeywood died in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer. For me, this image was the one that felt most like “home.” I had it on my book shelf in a little gold frame for many years. It probably is still there nestled with the essentials.

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