January 18 - February 23, 2018
Opening reception: Wednesday, January 17, 6:00pm-8:00pm
Curated by Harlem Needle Arts, with support from NYC Parks’ Ebony Society The Arsenal Gallery, Central Park 830 Fifth Ave. at 64th Street, Third Floor, New York, NY 10065
Identity disrupts the notion that image and culture are “trends” and not a lifestyle. Despite the fractured nature in which society, especially the media, defines the imagery of people of the African Diaspora, Identity embraces the works of artists who are self-aware, self-motivated and through their work express the cultural landscape of their lives.
Through embroidery, soft sculpture, quilt, and mixed media, the artists emerge with diverse voices as they illustrate multiple layers of ethnic connectivity, artivism and leadership that make up the Diaspora. The exhibition purposefully evokes elements of swag, spirituality, icons, music, and social justice, to provoke audiences to recognize the vast contributions that Africans continue to make to the overarching foundation of society.
“Our culture can’t be erase through media sound bites. The exhibit embraces the organic nature of varying backgrounds and traditions which govern each artist’s life. Identity is an artistic voice that influences the essence of living your truth through one’s own emancipated terms while acknowledging cultural greatness,” says Harlem Needle Arts, executive director Michelle Bishop.
Krystle Collins Dindga McCannon
Valerie Deas Ruth Miller
Shimoda Donna Emanuel LaVesha Parker
Ife Felix Teresa Vega
Founded in 2005, Harlem Needle Arts is an arts and cultural organization at the forefront of revolutionizing, preserving, and expanding the narrative of fiber, textile, design, and needle arts in the African Diaspora through exhibitions, education, technical support, economic development and other tools. We focus on the textile mediums of quilting, felting, knitting, crochet, batik, Adire, botanical print, weaving, spinning, embroidery, collage, illustration, beading, and fiber fusion. HNA is committed to sharing the histories of fiber, textile, and design traditions from the African diaspora in order to foster growth amongst working artists, youth, and adults in the Harlem community.
Harlem Needle Arts presents the work of both emerging and established artists in local and international exhibitions, corporate and museum acquisitions, and publications, including books, magazines and blogs. Our teaching artists produce innovative work in their fields and contribute to HNA's community programming by examining and creating vibrant imagery that explores the multi-dimensionality of black identities and art histories; they connect their works, teaching, and discussions with contemporary social, political, and cultural discourses in the Harlem community and beyond.
P.O. Box 111, New York, NY 10037-0111
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