Photo Credit: Courtesy of Jessi Jumanji
John Singleton's Former Office Turned Into Gallery For Black Art Exhibit
The late Oscar-nominated film director John Singleton created an enduring and iconic piece of art with his powerful debut, Boyz N the Hood. So, it’s only fitting that his old office has been transformed into a gallery showcasing the work of the latest generation of artists.
The venue is the independently owned Aziz Gallerie, located in the historic Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The creative space is collaborating with social enterprise organization Broccoli City Lifestyle Group to present Black Spectrum, an exhibition inspired by the words of a prominent, award-winning art historian.
Lead Curator James “Jupiter” June explained the message behind the imagery.
“This exhibition was inspired by Dr. Kellie Jones’s South of Pico text: “in their (Black artist migrating to California in the ‘70s) deflection, are aesthetic markers imagining types of connection and activist practice that lie beyond the gaze of dominant power, yet in plain view.” This group of thriving artists encompasses a range of blackness and mediums that may not always be visible to the mainstream art world. Black Spectrum gives art collectors and the public an exclusive glimpse at eight unique aesthetic markers now in “visible light”.
“In short this exhibition highlights the contemporary Black arts movement through the unique lens of Black women and Black LGBTQ+ artists. Graduating from Howard University’s eclectic Fine Arts School I’ve been infatuated by the rich history of Black (The entire African Diaspora) art and know that documenting the many aesthetics of these artists is crucial to recording an authentic account of black history. ”
This exhibit extends Black History Month and Women’s History Month into April by turning the spotlight on eight Black women, some of who are showing their pieces for the first time.
“It’s an absolute honor to be in my first art show within my community — all Black femmes in a Black-owned gallery,” shared featured artist Dorcas Thete with Travel Noire. “Art is not only a means of self-expression but a way for me to breathe a little easier in a world that seems to suffocate my/our existence. Collage-making, specifically, is an assemblage of God’s magic, and I am just the puppet making it happen. Gratitude to the artists that came before me — Romare Bearden is the reason why I started collage making, Basquiat fortified me to discover royalty in my work, and Wangechi Mutu inspired me to be limitless.”
For Ahmari Benton, this is chance to leave a mark on the younger members of her family.
“My participation in this exhibition is meaningful to me because it’s an opportunity to celebrate and contribute to the legacy of Leimert Park. It’s a significant opportunity for me to lead by example for my nieces and nephews as they find their purpose in this world and make their own contributions to black history.”
The exhibition runs from April 7th through the 28th. Programming includes an opening reception on April 9th and Virtual Weekend Artist Talks April 10th – 25th.
All events are FREE and open to the public virtually and at 25% capacity in the gallery. Please reserve your visit time slot or event rsvp via AzizGallerie.com.
Related: Black-Owned Broccoli City Creates Pop-Up Drive-In Movie Experience For D.C.