“I picked up a camera because it was my choice of weapons against what I hated most about the universe: racism, intolerance, and poverty. I could have just as easily picked up a knife or a gun, like many of my childhood friends did… most of whom were murdered or put in prison… but I chose not to go that way. I felt that I could somehow subdue these evils by doing something beautiful that people recognize me by, and thus make a whole different life for myself…” — Gordon Parks, legendary photographer
In honor of Gordon Parks’ Centennial Anniversary, African Voices and SAVAE, Inc. present
“A Choices of Weapons: The New Renaissance Artists,” an art exhibition featuring 30 artists whose works are inspired by the late, legendary photographer. The exhibition celebrates Mr. Parks’ philosophy that art can be an impetus for change and a transforming experience for both artist and audience. Determined to use his lens to document the beauty of the human spirit, Mr. Parks’ work transcended many boundaries and produced a profound body of art for the world to enjoy. The opening reception on April 25, 2012 will include a special performance by the jazz, soul and R&B KAPE Band. The exhibition will be open from April 25 to May 30, 2012 at 1199SEIU Gallery, 310 W. 43 Street (8th & 9th Aves). For information call: 212-865-2982 or 718-314-0766.
"A Choice of Weapons: The New Renaissance Artists" is a tribute featuring paintings, collages and photographs by artists from across the nation. Presented by African Voices and SAVAE, Inc., the exhibition brings together an intergenerational group of artists whose works explore everything from the recent Occupy Wall Street movement to the photograph of a boy reveling in a day at the beach until sunset. The art in exhibition ranges from elegant to gritty, capturing the beauty and vast styles of each artist. Lisa Russell’s untitled work depicting children in Sierra Leone holding a white, tattered Barbie doll, evokes Mr. Parks’ famous 1942 “Children with Doll” photo. Build Levy’s “Pigeon Cloud” photograph honors Mr. Parks’ love of nature and landscape photography. Shanté Cozier’s “American Girl Series” gives a generational nod to Parks’ legacy, with images of five young women with a flag of stars in the background and Mr. Parks’ iconic “American Gothic” photo at the center.
The 30 artists were selected from 96 submissions by artists from as far away as Ghana, west Africa. The exhibiting artists represent many cities and states including New York City, Spring Valley, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Some artists are exhibiting work for the first time, while others like Leroy Henderson, Francks Deceus, Delphine Fawundu and Mel Wright, among others, have been showcased in major exhibitions worldwide.
Featured in this historic exhibition are: Accra Shepp, Bas Clark, Builder Levy, Clymenza Hawkins, Collette Fournier, Delphine Fawundu, Fikisha Cumbo, Francelle Figaro, Francks Deceus, Howard Moss, Jamel Shabazz, Jasmine Murrell, Ka-Son, Kerika Fields, Leroy Henderson, Lisa Russell, Lolita Parker, Jr., Marcia Wilson, Mel Wright, Mireille Liong-A-Kong, Mirlande Jean-Gilles, Nathan Yungerberg, Obari Cartman, Ocean Morisset, Opal Palmer-Adisa, Oscar Solis, Renaldo Davidson, Shante Cozier, Shawn Escoffery and Tumani Onabiyi. Artists’ bios are attached.
On Wed., May 16, 2012 at 6 pm, visual artist Daniel Tisdale, the founder of Harlem World magazine, will host a conversation with the artists. The artists will discuss their works and Gordon Parks’ legacy.
Exhibition Dates: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Artists’ Talk: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 6 pm, Host: Daniel Tisdale, visual artist and founder of Harlem World Magazine
"A Choice of Weapons: The New Renaissance Artists”
1199SEIU Gallery@ Bread & Roses Cultural Project
310 W. 43rd Street (8th & 9th Aves.) in Manhattan