Opening Reception -“Speak To Me” A Black History Month Group Art Exhibition
Café Melo Gallery proudly presents “Speak To Me” a Black History Month Group Art Exhibition featuring contemporary NYC based Black Artists . Artists include; Jaleel Campbell, Chanti “Catalyxt” Louison, Robert Newman III, Will Porter Jr., and Sophisticatedcookie.
Jaleel Campbell is a New York based artist whose work ranges from illustration, curating, directing, performing and the latest, Doll making. Jaleel attained his BFA in Visual Communications with a specialization in Graphic Design from Cazenovia College and his MFA in Media Arts & Culture from SUNY Purchase. His passion for creating knows no bounds. It is through these acts that community building comes to the forefront. That is jaleel’s mission and what drives him the most. Whether it be through illustration work that showcases the often underrepresented, video work that captures the beauty and essence of black life and culture, or handmade dolls that aim to honor and acknowledge African traditions, there is no limit to his creativity and he will continue creating work that reminds black people of their worth; even when the world becomes too heavy.
Chanti “Catalyst” Louison – The work of “Catalyst” evokes the Dreamers and the Activist. She a multi-disciplinary artist that specializes in Duality using UltraViolet paints and Glow-in-the-dark Art. Her art style is a fusion between Afro-futurism, and Neo-expressionism. The artist is inspired by Street Art, Tribalism, Nature, Spirituality and the Human Psyche, together they become a melting pot of colour that shifts the world
Sophisticatedcookie (Taeesha M.)– Is a self-taught artist, her work is just as detailed and diverse as her artistic expression. She explores mediums that are personally interesting . Her expression is a form of conversation that will require an expansion of one’s horizons, creating a depth within the viewer that can be explored daily.
Robert L. Newman III is a self-taught Black American multidisciplinary artist, best known for his expressionist portraits. Currently living and working in Harlem, New York, Newman’s work primarily follows and examines the narrative of Black Folks through a post-Civil War Reconstruction era lens. Newman’s artistic journey began in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the window of his grandmother’s doll store. Since then, Newman has traveled and lived throughout the United States with a significant amount of his time situated in what is known as the “Jim Crow South”;Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee and Georgia. Newman utilizes his intimate and life-long experiences within Black culture to showcase the continued liberation efforts of Black Folks in America, evoking and honoring his ancestors throughout each piece he creates.
In his words: “Drawing and painting have always been my first loves, but in my growth as an artist, I have become more interested in fashion, photography, curating and writing. Much of my work is still influenced by my grandmother. She was my first teacher. I have since had the opportunity to study at Morehouse College, a historically Black college in Atlanta GA and the alma mater of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Because of this, my work is in constant conversation with my community. I seek to create work that represents my peers and neighbors in the way I see them [and they see themselves]. My hope is that through this process of storytelling, I can facilitate healing and growth for Black folks in American who have lived with and for some through the generational trauma of slavery and oppression.
Will Porter Jr.
The opening reception will feature a brief artists talk, introducing the participating artists and their work on exhibit.
Curated by Ulysses S. Williams for Access Black Art