Karen White’s Way of Honoring Her Father

This article was originally published on July 29, 2020.

It’s been a difficult year for Karen White; earlier this year she lost her dog and in April, she lost her dad due to COVID-19. Ms. White was very close to her father and she always talked to him about her dreams and career aspirations. Ms. White stated, “He was my greatest inspiration, my biggest supporter, and the most amazing coach.” So in honor of him, Ms. White decided she would follow through with an idea her father always wanted her to pursue.

Ms. White runs the business Oasis Accents, a home decoration company. They sell artistic accessories that make a room incredibly beautiful, including items like large paintings, vases, lamps, and much more. Ms. White says in a Facebook video that she would talk to her father about her business and her journey often. When she described how much she loved art and how she believed it was her “niche,” he insisted she should make Black Art, art made by Black artists who use their talent as a way to express Black history, culture, and/or experiences.

When Ms. White’s father mentioned this idea, she typically would disagree. In a Facebook post she states, “Every time he brought it up, I pushed back and told him that I didn’t think that Frisco was the right target audience, even though people from many different cultures and backgrounds love and appreciate Black art. I resisted because of my own implicit bias about what would or wouldn’t sell in my store.” However, her father persisted. He claimed, “‘Well, people from all different cultures and different backgrounds love and appreciate Black Art.” Ms. White and her father disagreed for a long time and she never got around to doing it. However, when her father passed away, she realized there was a way she could honor his life as well as support the Black community.

Oasis Accents is hosting a Black Art contest, open to any African American artists, in honor of her father, Fritz S. White. She states in the same Facebook post, “If you are a Black artist, or you know one who specializes in painting Black Art, depicting our history, culture or experiences, please share this exciting opportunity.” In this time of racial tension, this initiative is an excellent way for Ms. White to both honor her father and provide an outlet for Black voices. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement recently gaining more notoriety through petitions, protests, and social media sharing, there’s been a necessary surge of awareness and support for equality for Black people in the United States. This initiative is a great platform for Black artists to share their stories. Non-Black people can also help by amplifying Black voices and Black artists and supporting and sharing these opportunities with others.

Submissions are open from July 6th to July 24th and the top three winners will be chosen on July 31st. Ms. White encourages any Black artists to come forward and submit any of their work. In this socially challenging time for the world and emotionally difficult season for Ms. White, we’re so glad that she is using that to inspire a project that will uplift Black artists in Frisco. It’s great to hear of inspiring stories like Ms. White’s, and we hope others will follow her example in this time.