GoLocalProv | Inside Art with Michael Rose

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

View Larger +

PHOTO: Michael Rose

A visit to a juried exhibition typically offers the opportunity to see work selected by an art-focused individual. In the case of HeARTspot Art Center and Gallery’s Black History Month Exhibition, audiences benefit from the expertise of a juror who integrates her passion for creativity into her unselfish love for the community. Juried by artist and activist Gem Barros, HeARTspot’s exhibition description states that the show exclusively features artists who are part of the African American community. The resulting exhibition, which is on view through March 16, assembles a talented group of local artists and spotlights an enjoyable range of art.

GET THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS HERE — SIGN UP FOR GOLOCAL FREE DAILY EBLAST

HeARTspot’s Black History Month Exhibition includes an excitingly varied array of work. Featured in the show are artists Chandra Akerblom, Shawndavid Berry, Mayté Castillo, Sydney Darrow, Danielle DePeza, April Doran, Tishawna Dunphy, Matthew Hill, Morgan Jamieson, Fitzcarmel LaMarre, and Joseph Mushipi. Gem Barros also has artwork in the exhibition, giving viewers a sense of the juror’s personal aesthetic, which is distinctive and expressive. One of Barros’ contributions is an inventive mixed media work that highlights her important role in sewing facemasks throughout the pandemic.

View Larger +

PHOTO: Michael Rose

Jurying an exhibition is a special skill, and the collection assembled by Barros brings out the best in the art-makers it displays. When asked what she was looking for as she selected works, Barros says, “The key qualities that drew me to each artists’ work were the materials and textures that each artist used in their pieces and what message they were trying to convey by choosing to submit pieces for this art showcase.”

From paintings, drawings, and photographs, to pieces of sculpture and digital art, the selected works display individual artists’ points of view. There are numerous standouts in the show. Some of the most accomplished pieces included in the exhibition are those by Sydney Darrow. Ranging from intently observed realism to fluidly graceful abstraction, Darrow’s artworks convey her ability to finesse alternating styles and themes with equal levels of skill. Darrow’s “Hands to Heart”, on view in the show, combines these two interests in one successful artwork.

View Larger +

PHOTO: Michael Rose

Shawndavid Berry, known locally for his skillfully crafted woodwork, is exhibiting recent paintings alongside a fine example of his three-dimensional art. The overlap between the two is Berry’s keen sense for the manipulation of organic forms, either on a flat surface or through the medium of carved wood.

Featured artworks suit a plethora of tastes. When asked what she wants visitors to take away from seeing the show, Barros says, “I hope the viewers experience that these artists are here to give to the community, and to the world, a human connection through creativity and our art.” The exhibition is indeed an exciting celebration of connection, community, and the human experience. A number of featured artworks tap into this poignant humanist impulse.

View Larger +

PHOTO: Michael Rose

One such piece is a striking portrait by Fitzcarmel LaMarre. A painter, author, and muralist based in New Bedford, LaMarre creates an iconic image with his “Integumentary Noir”. Set against a bright backdrop, the figure in the painting makes eye contact with viewers while encircled with a gold halo. Nearby, an untitled portrait by April Doran celebrates another proudly singular sitter, who also engages with the audience. Executed in gestural strokes of charcoal, Matthew Hill’s portrait of Nina Simone is one more worthy entrant in the exhibition’s strong figurative group.

Multiple figures populate impressive paintings exhibited by Joseph Mushipi, which offer up engrossing narratives. A self-taught painter from Zambia who recently relocated to the United States, Mushipi creates works that focus on storytelling. His painting, “Heroic Destiny”, received First Place in the exhibition, a fitting honor for a carefully and intricately constructed work of art.

View Larger +

PHOTO: Michael Rose

Speaking of her passion for this show, Barros states, “What excites me most about this show is that some of these artists are showingcasing their works for the very first time and it’s not always easy to show the public what you created behind closed doors or in vulnerable moments, especially during the lockdowns that we all have experienced. So, for the artists to trust me to be a facilitator between their artwork, this showcase, and to the world, I’m grateful and excited about that. All these artists deserve this moment and more.”

View Larger +

PHOTO: Michael Rose

With Barros as its expert juror and artist advocate, HeARTspot Art Center and Gallery has assembled an enticing Black History Month Exhibition, which will undoubtedly serve as a rich source of inspiration for all who visit.

HeARTspot Art Center and Gallery’s Black History Month Exhibition is on view through March 16 at 1970 Pawtucket Avenue in East Providence. The gallery is open Saturdays from 12 – 3 pm and Sundays from 10 am – 1 pm, and also by appointment. To learn more and plan your visit, go to www.heartspotart.com.

Enjoy this post? Share it with others.

.

About the author

Publishing Team

Leave a Comment

home