Juried exhibit spotlighting ‘Black Love’ showcases four Dayton artists

A celebration of Black love is on display at the National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center in Wilberforce with its Art of Soul! exhibit featuring multiple Dayton artists.

The museum’s ninth annual juried exhibit, centered on the theme “Black Love,” features 29 artists from around the world. The 43-piece exhibit includes sculptures, paintings and photographs that “represents themes and perspectives related to the African diaspora and African American culture and history,” according to the center’s website.

Four Dayton artists are featured in the show in mixed mediums, including sculptures and paintings that exhibit the artists’ interpretation of the show’s theme.

Lois Fortson’s “Fannie Lou Hamer” water-based clay sculpture is a bust of the civil rights activist, which Fortson simply described using the words of Hamer: “‘I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.’”

“Statuesque One,” an acrylic painting by Angelo Hopson, depicts loving all aspects of Black and Indigenous women and was inspired by the OvaHimba people in northern Namibia, according to the artist’s description of the piece.

“I painted her during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020,” Hopson said about the painting. “I felt it was an important time to depict not only the beauty of our women, but also the pain, the struggle and the longevity of our women.”

Morris Howard’s oil painting, “Love our Women 3,″ is the third in a series of award-winning paintings that, according to the artist, exhibit Black Love “fully and unconditionally.”

A depiction of a young couple kissing was captured in a watercolor painting by Gregory DeGroat entitled “Downtown Love,” which is also highlighted in the 2022 Art of Soul! exhibit.

A jury including James Haywood Rolling Jr, Syracuse University’s chair of the art education program, Rev. Rene Wormack-Keels, artist and founder of the nonprofit Quilting Beyond Borders, and Marshall Shorts, an artist and founder of the social impact brand and design agency Artfluential, will select a best-in-show piece and category winners at the conclusion of the exhibit on Saturday, Feb 25. The award ceremony will follow a brunch and an artist meet-and-greet where visitors can learn more about each piece included in the showcase and have conversations with artists and exhibit jurors.


What: The closing ceremony of the 2022 Art of Soul! exhibit

When: Saturday, Feb. 25 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center, 1350 Brush Row Road, Wilberforce

Cost: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for ages 6–17 and free for Ohio History Connection & NAAMCC members.

More Information: Call 800-752-2603 or visit their Facebook page

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