Soul of A Nation- Celebrating African American Artists Contribution to Art and History

Soul of a Nation shines a bright light on the vital contribution of black artists to a dramatic period in American art and history.

The show opens in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement and its dreams of integration. In its wake emerged more militant calls for Black Power: a rallying cry for African American pride, autonomy and solidarity, drawing inspiration from newly independent African nations.

Artists responded to these times by provoking, confronting, and confounding expectations. Their momentum makes for an electrifying visual journey. Vibrant paintings, powerful murals, collage, photography, revolutionary clothing designs and sculptures made with Black hair, melted records, and tights – the variety of artworks reflects the many viewpoints of artists and collectives at work during these explosive times.

Some engage with legendary figures from the period, with paintings in homage to political leaders Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Angela Davis, musician John Coltrane and sporting hero Jack Johnson. Muhammad Ali is here in Andy Warhol’s famous painting. An original Sugar Shack painting by Ernie Barnes – known as a Marvin Gaye album cover – leaves the US for the first time.

Spanning the emergence of Black feminism, debates over the possibility of a unique Black aesthetic in photography, and including activist posters as well as purely abstract works, the exhibition asks how the concept of Black Art was promoted, contested and sometimes flatly rejected by artists across the United States.

With most of the 150 artworks on display in the UK for the first time, the exhibition introduces more than 50 exceptional American artists, including influential figures Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Lorraine O’Grady and Betye Saar, among numerous others. This landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.

SOUL OF A NATION: ART IN THE AGE OF BLACK POWER

Soul of A Nation- Art in the Age of Black Power runs at the Tate Modern from 1st July to 22nd October. For  further information please visit  the Tate’s website 

 

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‘What it is to be me’ -Exhibition at the Elizabeth James Gallery

I am very pleased to announce that I’ll be participating in’ What it is to be me’, the next group exhibition at the Elizabeth James Gallery in south London. I will be exhibiting with the talented artists Elizabeth Balogan, Miguel Sopena and Suzette Huwae. Artists will be exploring appearance, identity, memories, perceptions, imperfections, inspiration and imagination. For further information, please visit http://www.elizabethjamesart.com/exhibitions or to register for the private viewing to click here.

What it is to be me

 

Pictures at an African Exhibition – Please help to complete the album!

Darryl Yokley ‘s Sound Reformation includes regular band members Zaccai Curtis on piano, Luques Curtis on bass, Wayne Smith Jr. on the drums, and special guest Nasheet Waits on the drums.  This project has increased its momentum over the course of a year with the band first recording as small group followed with the wind ensemble. One of my original pieces will accompany each piece of music featured on the album.

Now in the final phase, we are hoping to raise funds for the mixing, mastering, packaging and distribution, as well as promotional and marketing cost.  With certain levels of contributions you will be able to receive some amazing perks such as early copies of the album, signed copies of the album, prints of the artwork, and more!   This project is 100% completely independent and while our desired target mark is $6,000, if we do not reach this cost we will still put all contributions towards the completion of this project.  If we are fortunate enough to receive more than our desired cost we will use these funds to promote the album to the best of our ability to make it a success, and if we receive further funding from this campaign it would go towards the budget for recording the second part of this music and arts collaboration.

With art initiatives and funding streams across the US constantly taking budget cuts and some being removed from the schools, Darryl is hoping this project will come to fruition and serve as an example for others to see what’s possible if they use their creative powers.  Darryl has drawn inspiration from African art and music, jazz music, classical music, as well as the artwork of myself and other visual artists.

I hope you will find this project deserving of your support. Even if you’re unable to donate at this time your help in spreading the word to friends and family about the project would be very much appreciated and hopefully garner more support to bring it to life.

For further information or to support please watch the video or click on the following link.

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pictures-at-an-african-exhibition-album-funding-music-art#/

 

Opening of The Elizabeth James Gallery London

This month I’m very proud to announce Croydon born friend and fellow artist Elizabeth James opened her own contemporary art gallery in the heart of South Norwood SE25. The opening comes after winning a competition by Croydon Council as part of the plan to regenerate the borough.

The new gallery launched on Wednesday 7th December 2016 7-9pm, bringing an eclectic mix of art, design, gifts, homeware and workshops. The opening night included a raffle to help raise funds for all those affected by the recent tram crash in Croydon.

All money raised will be donated to Croydon Council ‘s official Crowdfunding page. Alongside Elizabeth’s own work, the gallery will host exhibitions showcasing the best of Croydon’s young talent. The gallery will also be inviting local primary and secondary schools, as well as colleges to participate in educational visits and workshops. There will also be Live Art on Saturday with guest artists creating art in the gallery window so the community can see their talent and work in process.

Elizabeth James Gallery
Elizabeth James Gallery

 

Elizabeth James is a contemporary UK Lifestyle Brand established in 2013. with products created using only British manufacturers in the UK.

For further information on Elizabeth and the gallery opening hours please visit  http://www.elizabethjamesart.com/  Congratulations Elizabeth!

 

Make Space for ‘Black Space’

This week I had the pleasure to meet artist Jon Daniel at the launch of his latest exhibition entitled ’Black Space.’ The show is small collection of iconographic poster artworks celebrating black screen heroines and heroes from the world of Sci-Fi.

Science Fiction is a very interesting genre, particularly when a majority of big budget movie blockbusters throughout the years have depicted a rather morbid and apocalyptic future, where people of the African diaspora are near extinction or only represented by one supporting character. I guess the same can be said of many genres including historical epics such as Cleopatra or the recent Gods of Egypt. It was refreshing see a show celebrating iconic figures such as Star Trek’s Lieutenant Uhura and Morpheus from the Matrix Trilogy. My only disappointment was the limited number of works displayed.

I have noticed and welcome the growing popularity of Afrofuturism and Jon Daniel, the man behind the Afro Supa Hero collection, contributes to this comprehensively. Classically trained as a graphic designer, Jon has worked largely as an art director for a number of London’s leading advertising agencies. He has also co-founded two creative companies -Headland, a creative partnership and ebb&flow®, a boutique branding company creating work for a range of corporate, cultural and public sector clients. The artist has created a reputation in the cultural arena. This is includes curating “Post-Colonial: Stamps from the African Diaspora” and “JA50” exhibitions with global stamp emporium, Stanley Gibbons. His exhibition ‘Afro Supa Hero’, based on his personal collection of black action figures and comic books exhibited at the V&A Museum of Childhood in 2014.

Black Space runs from today to October 31st at Upstairs At the Ritzy, Brixton, London SW2. Check it out if you’re in the vicinity. For more info on the artist visit https://twitter.com/jondaniel66

Black Space by artist artist Jon Daniel
Black Space by artist artist Jon Daniel