A Celebration of Color
Opening Reception: Friday, February 15th, 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM
Generously sponsored by Al and Barbara Jordan
In recognition of Black History Month, Gallery North has invited eight Artists of Color to participate in a show celebrating the art, history, and cultural richness that has resulted from the African Diaspora. Robert Carter, Francks Déséus, Stephanie Dinkins, James Hoston, Nontsikelelo Mutiti, Phillip Smallwood, Ann Tanksley, and Emmett Wigglesworth are all contemporary artists whose heritage is visible in the works they create.
-Robert Carter received his MFA from the Pratt Institute, and went on to become a talented painter, designer, illustrator, and art educator. His mixed media portraits explore “connections with social circumstances from the African American perspective”. He lives in Dix Hills, Long Island and exhibits frequently in the NYC area and elsewhere.
-Francks Décéus, a Haitian immigrant who grew up in Brooklyn, found it difficult to maintain both an identity as a Haitian and a New Yorker, creating a constant struggle with identity and acceptance. He states “the time period following major social events, crises, and upheavals is particularly interesting to me; because at these crucial moments we come together, regardless of ethnicity, gender, or class”. His work has been prominently exhibited around the country and he has been profiled in the International Review of African American Art as “one of the leading young modern painters of his generation, whose work depicts a high degree of sensitivity to social issues and his culture”
-Stephanie Dinkins uses video and organic and found materials to create her sculptures and installations. She uses her work to “carve out space, both physical and mental, for the careful (re)consideration of the peoples, places, things, and ideas that are often swept under the rug of the American psyche in the name of sorrow, shame, power, or pride”. She received her MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, and currently is an Associate Professor and MFA Director at Stony Brook University.
-James Hoston, a renowned illustrator who has worked with both Jeff Koons and Marvel Comics originally hails from Freeport, Long Island. He received his MFA from the New York Academy of Art and now teaches at his alma mater and at the Pratt Institute. He has been exhibited and well received across the United States and Europe.
-Nontsikelelo Mutiti received her diploma from the Zimbabwe Institute of Vigital Arts and her MFA from Yale University. She is a multimedia artist who explores everyday life, in her own words “It begins with an image from my world, a very ordinary and familiar scene… Signs can be read from the surfaces of garments, containers and tools. The forms of the things themselves… Relying on modules of different kinds I continue to explore the complexity of cultural signifiers.”
-Phillip Smallwood is a figurative watercolorist known for his “Lifescapes”, a powerful blend of portraiture and visual narrative. His work has received high honors such as Best in Show at the International Art Expo in Philadelphia and first prize in a New Jersey Watercolor Society Exhibition. He has also been awarded a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for his work related to the Art of Soul Exhibition in Bergen County, New Jersey.
-Ann Tanksley, while living primarily in New York, takes inspiration from her travels following the African Slave trade, the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, and the music of Thelonious Monk. She has received numerous honors and awards for her paintings and prints. Her work is in many prestigious permanent collections including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the National Museum of Woman in the Arts, and the Hewitt Collection of African American Art.
-Emmet Wigglesworth is primarily a muralist whose art has graced the cultural landscape of New York City since 1958. His abstracted and colorful paintings feature motifs symbolic of African culture and figures that personify humanity, spirituality, power, and beauty. In his own words “The enhancement of humanity gives life and talent meaning, it’s my hope and prayer that by using my talent in a functional way, I can remind humanity of the need to search for, and put into practice, spiritual truth”.
Gallery North is proud to celebrate the work of these accomplished artists. You can hear them speak about their work on February 24th from 3pm-5pm as part of our ArTalk@GalleryNorth series.
All Images Copyright © Property of Artist, Gallery North 2013