- Reporters Desk
In 2017 Michael Stearns Studio in conjunction with SOLA gallery presented Diasporagasm, a group show of all black artists, including Angels Gate artist June Edmonds.
Artists: Bright Ackwerh, Kwame Akoto, Lavialle Campbell, Florine Demosthene, June Edmonds, Cole James, Jeffrey Merris, Jodi Minnis, Nii Kotei Nikoi, Keisha Oliver, Duane Paul, Gio Swaby, Jamaal Tolbert, Wanlov The Kubolor
SoLA Gallery in conjunction with Michael Stearns presents a co-located multi-media exhibition Diasporagasm. Diasporagasm is curated by Beyoncenista – artist April Bey’s alter ego – and acts as a performance bringing together melanated artists working in Los Angeles, Haiti, Ghana, the Caribbean and West Africa.
The works in this exhibition will be from 15 artists who identify as black, but the work itself will not be “black art”. Rather conversations about what it means through individualism to be black, geographic differentiations in culture and how all the baggage carried comes through in work and artist’s work. Diaspora here translates to experiences and the authority that comes with those experiences. While the artists represented identify themselves as black-their walks vary drastically forcing relatability amongst this fictitious construction we call race.
Art continues to inspire during this extraordinary time in history. As the world shelters and waits for a new dawn my artist friends stay occupied in their studios, as do I. The pause in the frenetic pace of gallery openings and exhibitions has provided me more time to create, as well as ponder the future and look back to the many great artists I have been to exhibit over the years. Meeting and working with such talent has been inspiring as well as unforgettable. I have the feeling that in the near future we will all see some deeply introspective art that will record this crossroad in time.
Until we have the opportunity to return to gallery exhibitions I would like to look back. In 2018 I curated a three person show with artists Ron Therio and Michael Falzone, both artist who work with natural materials, as I do as well. The result was an exhibit I was fortunate to present in the Loft Gallery in San Pedro; Wood, Paper and Paint.
Michael Falzone’s African inspired constructions were inspired while working at the Harry A. Franklin Gallery which specialized in primitive art. Ron Therrio is a self-taught artist and sculptor who in 2015 shifted his focus from commercial work to exclusively to fine art.
The video below shows my contribution to the exhibition. In the next few weeks I plan to share more videos from this show that will focus on the work of the other two artists.
I hope you enjoy.
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