Atlanta, GA (January 8, 2018) – Bright Black, an exploration of American Black identity, will have its opening reception on Friday, January 26, 2018 from 6-9 pm at the Southwest Arts Center. The collection will include woodcuts and mixed media works that articulate an intricate host of common experiences, set backs, and triumphs, that are a part of the African American experience within America. It is a solo exhibit presented by printmaker Jamaal Barber.
A part of the exhibit focuses on the “American Color Theory”. American Color Theory is presented in a series of 10 serigraphs that are bound in an accordion book. In addition, prints from the book will be on display. The prints and serigraphs on American Color Theory use torn images on paper and text to illustrate the different principals that are used to govern color and its interpretation in America. The book seeks to define black since the value of black must be controlled and contained.
“Redlining” is another series in the exhibit that intends to depict everyday life in America. The series consists of carved woodblocks that are encased in constructions full of wood, rope and burlap, among other things. The subjects in the portraits are defined by their blackness just as much as the history of blackness creates the environment in which they exist. The viewer is kept at a distance from these constructions by red fences. Red lining was the practice used to categorize groups of people by the Federal Housing Authority. Areas with large populations of African Americans were coded red and labeled high risk zones for loans and other financial products to create a separation. Regardless of the history, merit, or humanity of the individual, everyone is the area were treated as “black”, and therefore unworthy.
“The Council” continues the thread of shared blackness. This 4ft by 3ft woodcut depicts a community of individuals in different stages of conversation. Each black man is distinct, designated by pattern and line, but are all connected.
The artist, Jamaal Barber, is a creative, imaginative soul who was born in Virginia, raised in Littleton, North Carolina, and has been a resident of the metro Atlanta region since 2004. At a young age, he was fascinated by the aesthetic images and vivid illustrations in children’s books and comic books. He soon started creating images of his own on any material that he could find. He finally answered the call to become an artist after reading about Romare Bearden in high school. Jamaal experimented with several forms of media including watercolor, pastels, acrylic and oil paint but it was a 2013 screen printing demonstration at a local art store that initiated his printmaking journey. Shortly afterwards he decided to make printmaking his primary focus and form of creative expression. The fine art of Jamaal Barber has also been on display at Zucot Gallery (Atlanta, GA), Community Folk Art Center (Syracuse, NY), Blue Spiral 1 Gallery (Ashville, NC), The Southern Gallery (Charleston, SC), and the University of Maryland Driskell Center. Jamaal’s art has been included in the Decatur Arts Festival, Atlanta Print Biennial Show, and at various art shows in the Metro Atlanta area. In addition, Jamaal has done print work for Black Art in America, The National Black Arts Festival, and Emory University
Bright Black Exhibit (January 26 to February 23, 2018)
Southwest Arts Center
915 New Hope Rd Atlanta GA 30331
Friday, January 26, 2018, 6 P.M. – 9 P.M.
Print Demo: Saturday, February 10, 2018, 10 A.M. – 1 P.M.
Artist Talk: Saturday, February 10, 2018, 1 P.M. – 3 P.M.
Selected prints on display: Zucot Gallery at 100 Centennial Olympic Park Drive SW
Atlanta GA 30313.
For more information please visit the following:
Website – jbarberstudio.com
Instagram – @jbarberstudio
Facebook – @JBarberArt