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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

From sand art to bow ties, Black artists showcase talents at annual exhibit

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In February, the Central Library will transform into an artist’s haven. The works on display during the 24th Annual Meet the Artists exhibit will highlight some of the most popular local African-American artists featuring a variety of artistic mediums from scratch board to sculpture, and graffiti art to hand crafted jewelry.

Meet the Artists XXIV will take place Feb. 3 through March 31 and will include a Meet the Artists Gala Saturday, Feb. 18 from 5 to 10 p.m., which will be open to the public to meet the participating artists and enjoy performances by the Krash Krew dancers, poet Mijiza Soyini, and others.

Retired teacher Paul D. Sinclair, a featured artist, has been using the artist technique pointillism since 1975. Pointillism is a technique of painting in which small, distinct dots of color are applied in patterns to form an image.

Sinclair, 60, said Meet the Artists is an important event for Black artists because it shows the great things African-Americans are doing.

“The positive works and the contributions we make don’t always hit the news,” he said. “It gives the public an opportunity to see the qualities and talents we have.”

It takes Sinclair 1,000 to 1,700 hours to complete one art piece.

“From 1975 to 2011 I’ve completed one to three pieces a year,” he said. “Pointillism takes a lot of patience and it reduces error because you have to work slower and it helps control your stroke.”

Since there isn’t a local gallery that showcases African-American art on a continuous basis, Anthony Radford developed the event in 1989. The first Meet the Artist event attracted 250 guests. Today, the exhibit brings in thousands of visitors. Artists eagerly anticipate the showcase because it allows their self-expression whether it is oils, mixed media or bow ties.

James Caldwell, 31, is showcasing his talent as a fashion designer by displying his brand of bow ties artistically called, American Armadillo. His exhibit is titled: Rebirth of the Bow Tie and will examine the role of the bow tie and the people who wore them during different era’s. If a tie catches your eye, you can purchase it. Prices will range from $25-$50.

“It’s all about a person’s image and their personal style,” he said.

Meet the Artists XXIV

When: Feb. 3 through March 31

Where: Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St.

The exhibit is open for viewing during regular Central Library hours.

Don’t miss out

What: The Meet the Artists Gala

Where: Central Library, 40 E. St. Clair St.

When: Saturday, Feb. 18 from 5 to 10 p.m.

The gala will also feature the popular hair and fashion show coordinated by Jackie Fuqua. This year’s show theme is, Sign of the Times.

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