Chel Delaney

Through the Lens of Social Justice




Artist Statement:

Black ice is indeed dangerous: Whether it is the ice on the road you cannot see, or the visibly darker color of your skin.  

“Black Ice” is a memorial meditation upon Daunte Wright and employs little air fresheners – which cost about 99 cents each – and how they take on a deeper meaning and symbol of what it is to be Black in America today.

Perhaps, that is what Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, was thinking about when police pulled him over in a traffic stop on a street in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on April 11, 2021.  

While an officer stood by, Wright spoke to his mother by cell phone. She later related that Daunte told her police stopped him for his air freshener, according to news outlets.*  

However, police said officers stopped Wright for an outstanding arrest warrant. Moments later, Officer Kim Potter shot him dead. She said she thought she was firing her taser. Potter now has a pending charge of second-degree manslaughter.  

In Brooklyn Center, Wright’s mourners have hung the tree-shaped fresheners to create memorial forests.  

Although more than 1,000 miles away from these events, I created these visual meditations about the life-threatening nature of racial bias.   

*In some states, it is illegal to have hanging objects in vehicles that obscure vision. 


Chel Delaney is a multidisciplinary artist from San Antonio, Texas. 


Black Ice: Little Trees Wrapper (2021)  
Archival Digital Print 
7”x5” print, 11”x9” framed 


Black Ice: Confirm Humanity (2021) 
Archival Digital Print 
7”x5” print, 11”x9” framed