The story behind Delusions of Grandeur

By Michael O’Sullivan

“You have to be delusional to want to be an artist,” says Amber Robles-Gordon, who, with Shaunte Gates and Jamea Richmond-Edwards, debuted as the art collective Delusions of Grandeur with two back-to-back exhibitions in the summer of 2011. Originally funded by a grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the group has expanded to five members with the addition of Wesley Clark and Stanley Squirewell.

As tough as it is for anyone to make it as an artist, Robles-Gordon says it can be tougher for artists of color. It’s also tough, she believes, for artists struggling to balance careers and parenthood. (Several members of the group have young children.)

Having first come together as a kind of art salon, with the goal of fostering dialogue among its members, the collective has now set its sights on somewhat loftier goals. Its name may be tongue-in-cheek, but Robles-Gordon admits that “we do want to be in the history books.”,1245339/critic-review.html