The Artivist Rises

From left, artists LaRonz Murray, Tyson Hall, Jimbe’ Carroll, Ocean Morisset, Bonita Savage (1199Gallery events manager), Derick Cross (African Voices Art Director), Jalani Morgan, Paula Wynter, Aziza (African Voices Assistant Art Director), Jacqueline Johnson (back row), Carolyn A. Butts (African Voices Publisher), Charan P. Morris (Poet), and Keisha-Gaye Anderson (Poet),
Photo by Alex Visuals

The Artivist Rises, a group art exhibition at 1199 SEIU Bread and Roses Gallery, located at 310 West 43rd St., presented by African Voices Magazine, Carolyn A. Butts, founder / publisher and Derick Cross, art director. The exhibition features 18 artists, whose common goal is conscious raising, the thread, which runs through the exhibit and ties the work together. It is a mixed media show with paintings, prints, collages, quilts and photographs.

The artists are from different parts of the country and their work blends together to make a powerful statement. Some of the work is really outstanding, but all of it is worthy of your viewing. The exhibition is very timely, inspired by the “Black Lives Matter Movement,” you come away from the room feeling the power of these visual images, which might inspire your greater participation and involvement in demanding change, and ending injustice in all forms in our society.

The atmosphere around the country is tense. The African American community is brisling and in turmoil from all the murders of young unarmed African American males mostly by police, whose job it is to protect and serve the people, all the people in all the communities. There is anger, frustration and outrage stemming from the murders of Trayon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown, the gunning down of Walter Scott caught on video in North Charleston, South Carolina, and most recently, 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who died from mysterious spinal injury sustained while in police custody. Just recently there was a march and demonstration here in New York, where traffic was stopped on the Brooklyn Bridge, protesting the brutalization and murder of unarmed African American and Latino males. The current cry is, “Black Lives Matter!” Baltimore is burning as a reaction to the death of Freddie Gray.

The statements made by the images in “The Artivist Rises” address and mirror the feelings people are experiencing in this time of examination and questioning. The participating artist are: Ansel Butler, Aziza, Jimbe’ Carroll, Derick Cross, Demar Douglas, Lisa DuBois, Imari DuSauzay, Tyson Hall, Idreis Hassan, Jacqueline Johnson, Miatta Kawinzi, Marcellous Lovelace, Jalani Morgan, Ocean Morisset, LaRonz Murray, Malik Seneferu, Jamel Shabazz and Paula Wynter. Though all the work is good, I found several pieces worthy of special mention: United We Stand (etching & collagraph) by Aziza; Lil Bobby Hutton (painting) by Malik Seneferu; Black Lives Matter (photo) by Demar Douglas; Make Art Not War (photo) by Jamal Shabazz; and Prelude to a (Civil Rights Leader’s) Funeral (painting) by Ansel Butler.

This exhibition closes on Monday, May 4. 1199 SEIU Gallery is open to the public Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and is located at 310 West 43rd St. (between 8th and 9th avenues), New York, NY 10036, phone number: 212-603-1186.

Beard and Roses Gallery is the only labor gallery in the nation and is located on the ground floor of 1199 SEIU headquarter.

Copyright: 2015 Ankhra House, Ltd.

Artists Tyson Hall and LaRonz Murray.
Photo by Alex Visuals

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