Curated by Lex Nycole and Gee Horton, this exhibition pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance era, showcasing the artistic contributions of a collective of African American artists of the 1920’s, and how their artistic endeavors have undoubtedly shifted the American cultural, economic and political landscape.
As part of A Celebration of the Harlem Renaissance, presented by Juneteenth Cincinnati in partnership with Kennedy Heights Arts Center, this exhibit is designed to memorialize, draw connections and spark conversations as twelve contemporary Cincinnati-based artists revisit the past in attempts to celebrate the history of the Harlem Renaissance by creating new works, in their own mediums, in a way that authentically pays tribute to the artists of that era.
Whether it’s the expressionism of Beauford Delaney or Bessie Smith’s blues that carried a nation, this exhibition will be nothing short of real, true, and timeless. A time where holding your tongue was scoffed upon and dwelling in your authenticity became the only elixir for success. An era that has paved an impenetrable path to greatness for anyone who so chooses to follow. This show provides you with a bit of everything you thought you knew, and all the wonders of things you didn’t know you needed.. . a legacy.
Exhibiting artists include: Paris Abstract, Asmara Abraham, Cedric Michael Cox, FEALART, TC Flowers, Cherie Garces, Lance Johnson, Hannah “Jonesy” Jones, Michael Coppage (Prosper Jones), Natasha Quitano, Skye High, and Ike Slimster.
Artworks, artist statements & bios, and historical panels (along with all the virtual programming and educational curriculum) will all be accessible online SOON on the project website: www.renaissanceincincy.org
Curators Lex Nycole (right) and Gee Horton (left)
Lex Nycole bio: As a curator my mission has always been to make culture more accessible to my city. I’ve always known that art and entertainment were some of the most influential and impactful platforms to be a part of. So early in my youth, I decided to devote my professional career and life to creating and helping mold outlets that promote not only the city’s artistry, but the well being of its community. A combined interest in experimental marketing, brand awareness, project management, and production have led me to where I am now. Furthermore, I am a firm believer that creativity is the vehicle that will drive the progression of change. I want the work I do to undoubtedly lead a renaissance of change that will contribute to the break down of barriers and set new standards on how people embrace life & cultural differences.
Gee Horton bio: Gee Horton is a Cincinnati-based self-trained Hyperrealist visual artist who has recently transitioned from a career in the corporate world to focus primarily on making art and building communities. Using graphite and charcoal pencils, Gee’s drawings capture a heightened sense of realism, but it is important to note that the Hyperrealist style is only one facet of comprehending his work. Having earned a master’s in social work from the University of Louisville, he often incorporates his education and life experiences into his art to achieve a kind of power that for many triggers’ emotional associations. With this in mind, his current work makes a connection between his African roots and their juxtaposition to American attitudes on the social and emotional development of the African American male experience.
Gee’s artistic practice began roughly three years ago and work has already been featured in local art exhibits such as The Black & Brown Faces exhibit at The Cincinnati Art Museum, The “Uprising” exhibit at Kennedy Heights Arts Center, The WE Gallery exhibit at the
historic Cincinnati Music Hall, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center’s “#NewTruth” Art Show, ArtWorks’ “Secret ArtWorks 2018” at The Banks, and the Mohawk Gallery’s “Manifestations of Time: The Black Experience” exhibit.
Gee is currently working on a series of work entitled, “Coming of Age”. In collaboration with photographer Jason Carter, the series is autobiographical and offers a complex multilayered conversation about black-male adolescence and their search for identity, acceptance, purpose, and love. Gee is currently selling hand selected pieces from this selection as well as other works on his website. Expect to see this prolific collection “Coming of Age” to debut in 2021, which will be his first gallery showing to the Cincinnati community.
Gee is currently serving as the Mercantile Library’s first African American Artist-in-Residence. He has been commissioned to draw a 6ft portrait of Peter H. Clark, the Mercantile Library’s first African American member. Gee played a major role in the Black Art Speaks collective to paint the Black Lives Matter! mural in front of Cincinnati’s City Hall. His contribution in the Black Lives Matter mural is the “L” in “Lives”, using text from the renowned African American poet Langston Hughes’ 1926 poem, “I, Too”. Gee currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Artworks, Wave Pool, and is a Co-Host of the Urban Consulate Cincinnati Chapter.
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