Danny Simmons anchors debut exhibition series

Danny Simmons, Culture Crashers member Georgie Exinard, Souleo and Chef Carl Redding.

Strivers Gardens Gallery and Souleo Enterprises, LLC, an event/media production company, present eMerge: Danny Simmons & Artists on the Cusp.

The exhibition features the works of renowned visual artist Danny Simmons and nine innovative and visionary contemporary artists from New York City and London repurposing everyday materials into elaborate works of art.

Co-curated by Lisa D. Hayes, Esq., manager of Strivers Gardens Gallery, and Souleo of Souleo Enterprises, LLC, the exhibit which began on July 12 will end on Sept. 7 at Strivers Gardens Gallery.

Anchoring the exhibition is a presentation of abstract-expressionist painter, Daniel “Danny” Simmons, Jr., featuring select works from the last four decades. Each piece exists on a continuum of Simmons’ exploration of the human relationship to spirit. With contemporary and indigenous art as inspiration, Simmons investigates how a spiritual connection is developed and nurtured through the creative process to be sustained beyond the realm of physical art.

Featured in this exhibition is Simmons’ The Door (1989), a fusion of painting and poetry on a wooden door that serves as a literal and figurative gateway to the exhibition’s eMerging artists.

“My life’s work has been dedicated to providing opportunity to emerging artists. My Rush Arts Gallery has helped to launch the careers of some of the world’s most noted artists of color,” said Danny Simmons. “This opportunity to exhibit with artists on the cusp of entering the global arts discourse is very gratifying and a great way to demonstrate my respect and admiration for new and exciting talent.”

“eMerge will be the first in a series of annual exhibitions featuring the work of new and exciting visual artists,” said Hayes. “This exhibition is a multi-medium exploration of form, portraiture and abstract expressionism using a variety of mediums. Doors, tea bags, pins, sneakers, threads and buttons are transformed from the ordinary to visual expressions of memory and tribute.”

The other artists include Beau McCall who visually imagines W.E.B. Dubois’ concept of double consciousness in Until We’re Free (2012); Londoner Shirley Nette Williams pays tribute to iconic and tragic women of song in A Nice Cup of Tears (2012), Greg Frederick celebrates pop cultural icons and highlights the cyclical nature of pop with portraits of Andy Warhol and Notorious B.I.G.; Andre Woolery challenges negativity and stereotypes with portraits of and Jimi Hendrix and Jay-Z; Al Johnson’s art may be seen as an inclusive vision that captures the classical in This Everlasting Moment (2011); David Hollier challenges mass consumption and commercialism through Greenpoint Sky (2012); Laura Gadson pays tribute to Kurtis Blow in Old School Hip-Hop (2010); Jason E. Augustea pays tribute to Jean-Michel Basquiat in JMB Code (2011).

The public is invited to attend the “Talk with the Artists” on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 3:00 p.m. and the Closing Night Reception on Thursday, Sept. 6 at 6:00 p.m. Closing Night will also feature artwork and musical performances from members of Culture Crashers, the youth initiative created by Souleo Enterprises, LLC, presented in partnership with the Harlem Arts Alliance. The Gallery, located at 300 West 135th Street, is otherwise open to the public by appointment only. For details on the events, visit: striversgardensgallery.vpweb.com or www.souleouniverse.com.

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