There is so much talent on our HBCU campuses! There are dancers, actors, singers, and rappers, but we can’t forget about the visual artists! Recently, HBCU Buzz partnered with Monkeypaw Productions, Universal Pictures and several HBCU students to tell a different side of the CANDYMAN story. 

At the center of the campaign is the CANDYMAN film, which is a spiritual sequel to the 1992 horror classic. Written and directed by Nia DaCosta, CANDYMAN shares more about the ominous figure than ever before. The story picks up in Chicago at the original Cabrini Green housing projects, which have now been gentrified. Not knowing what he was getting himself into, unsuspecting artist Anthony McCoy (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) who is down on his luck, gets more information than he bargained for when he speaks to a long-time resident William Burke (Colman Domingo). William opens Anthony’s eyes to the history of the block, and the sad story of the urban legend Candyman. His first thought is to bring the story out in his art, but it may have been his biggest mistake. His journey down the Candyman rabbit hole begs the question: are monsters born or created? 

Explore the profound and poignant story of CANDYMAN with the 6 HBCU artists who creatively brought the film to life through their art below. Plus, see them featured here CANDYMAN IMPACT

1Kendall Robinson | Howard University

Kendall Robinson is a leader on campus at Howard University, carrying her passion for art in all she does. The Painting major and member of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority Inc. currently leads as the president of the Fine Arts student council. 

Mural Name: Metamorphosis

Location: The Blackburn Center at Howard University

Artwork Description: “The hive represents community, shared experiences, the boxes that society puts us in, the boxes that we put ourselves in as Black people in America,” said Robinson. “The portrait with multiple layers also represents the different faces or personas Black people have to put on to maneuver through the world. The bees represent achievements of the Black community, our contributions to society and members of our village that motivate us and keep us grounded.” 

2Chloe Williams |  Norfolk State University

Chloe Williams is a Fine Arts major at Norfolk State University who loves to see art being appreciated. Although she is social media free, she enjoys working at an art gallery, and has previously worked with 2 professional artists on mural projects in the past. 

Mural Name: Transference

Location: The lobby of the E.L. Hamm Fine Arts Building at Norfolk State University Artwork Description: She was inspired by “the backstories of both, Nia DaCosta’s  Candyman and Clive Barker’s Candyman. The two stories merging, shines light on how trauma is passed down from generation to generation in the African American community.”

3April Lacey | Fisk University

April Lacey is a Fine Art major with an emphasis in painting at Fisk University. She is not only a member of the Phi ETA Sigma National Honors Society, but will also serve as a Senator representing the arts community on campus for Fisk’s 2021-2022 Senate. With her artwork, the junior shared just how sweet and sour the story of Candyman can truly be. 

Mural Name:  Inner City Fright

Location:  Fisk University’s Art Gallery

Artwork Description: “My candyman mural, Inner City Fright, was inspired by my hometown – Chicago. Cabrini Green was a public housing project that played a part in the division that existed between both, the white & Black & the poor & wealthy. Although the project no longer exists, the segregation does. Those same dehumanizing narratives that were placed on the residents of Cabrini Green are still placed upon the remaining Black people who stay in the inner city.”

Donielle Pankey | Tennessee State University

Donielle Pankey is a Studio Art major at Tennessee State University with a penchant for pencil, black and white, and watercolor art. As a determined student on campus, she also is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society,  the National Society of Leadership and Success, and TSU’s Honors College Program. 

Mural Name: Everlasting Pain

Location: The Floyd-Payne Campus Center at Tennessee State University

Artwork Description: “The concept of my mural is about how trauma in life can have a lifetime effect on us. Therefore, we are carrying that weight and pain on ourselves to the point where our pain becomes our truth.”

5Ja’Marcus Willis | Grambling State University

Ja’Marcus Willis is a Grambling State University junior who majors in Visual and Performing Arts with a minor in Psychology. After finishing his art piece, the artist and entrepreneur from Louisiana shared his plan to take his artistic talents to the National Guard’s ROTC program.

Mural Name: Candyman Vision Perspective

Location: The Grambling State University Bookstore

Artwork Description: “My mural is very dynamic and creative. It is an artwork that I have been very dedicated to completing. It is a Bumblebee viewing a mirror and what is being reflected is my own vision of what Candyman the movie is as a whole.”

6Haley Wilson | Florida A&M University

Florida A&M University student Haley Wilson is a fine arts major and English literature minor. A lover of art, Haley has showcased her art in exhibitions, and performed in theater settings and through a spoken word poetry group. 

Mural Name: The Hive

Location:  Foster-Tanner Fine Arts Center East on FAMU’s campus

Artwork Description: “This mural is a representation of the similarities amongst the different caricatures portrayed about Candyman and the aggression a lot of black youth experience. Candyman’s coat and city scape are made up of a collage while the background faces have different methods of acrylic paint.”

See what these students saw when you catch the nail-biting thriller CANDYMAN for yourself in theaters everywhere this Friday August 27th!