Category Archives: Art

Authenticity: Homage to Peju Exhibition

One of the reasons I created Cultured Mosaic is to give black artists of every discipline a space where they are celebrated. From illustrators to graphic designers to textile designers to ballet dancers to music engineers to set designers and everybody in between, I want this to be the home for all things black visual and performing arts. With that, I am happy to share this exhibition with you.

Authenticity- Homage to Olapeju
Flo Awolaja is an artist of Nigerian descent who specializes in printmaking and textile design, among many other things. After receiving a tweet, I asked her to e-mail me so I could feature her work on the blog. Her newest exhibition, Authenticity: Homage to Peju features fabrics from Ghana and Nigeria, creating “abstract compositions harking back to West African traditions of using textiles as a means of commemoration and communication.”

If you live in London, go not now but RIGHT NOW to check out Flo’s exhibit at Boulangerie Bon Matin, (Patisserie) [178 Tollington Park Road, Finsbury Park, London N4 3AJ]!

Artist Spotlight: Stephen Wiltshire

One of my favorite causes to raise awareness about is autism and this month is Autism Awareness Month. I happen to be a sibling of a person who has autism and I try my best to share how people can help support families who live with the disability. You’ll be surprised how far empathy and acceptance will go.

In honor of Autism Awareness Month, I’m featuring an incredible artist who has autism. Born in London, Stephen Wiltshire is an architectural artist that is able to draw major city skylines from memory after taking a helicopter ride of the city. Amazing right?! Stephen was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3 and went to London’s Queensmill School, where he expressed interest in drawing.

Photo Courtesy: Stephen WIltshire

Photo Courtesy: Stephen WIltshire

His early drawings reflected his interests in animals and cars, to this day he is a collector of American cars. He became fascinated with London landmark and by the time he turned 8, he received his first commission to create a drawing of Salisbury Cathedral from the British Prime Minister.

Stephen_Wiltshire_London_Panorama_drawing

Photo Courtesy: Stephen Wiltshire

Since then, he has drawn skylines of London, Rome, Hong Kong, Frankfurt, Madrid, Dubai and Jerusalem to name a few! In 2005, he created his largest panorama drawing of his career by drawing the Tokyo skyline on canvas. Citing New York City as his spiritual home, he has drawn it twice, once in 2009 and then in 2011 for UBS’ global advertising campaign.

Stephen and his work have been the subject of many documentaries and has published 4 books. In 2006, Queen Elizabeth II named Stephen a Member of the Order of the British Empire for his contributions to art. Later that year, he opened a permanent gallery in the Royal Opera Arcade. If you live in Houston, Stephen will be in your city later this month for Elevate Houston to draw the Bayou City live. Remember that support I mentioned earlier, this would be a great opportunity.

It’s no doubt that Stephen’s artistry is one of a kind and I’m glad to share his #blackmanbrilliance with you. To see more of his artwork, visit his website.

Art in Black

What happens when you gather artists together to display what black means to them using their medium? A MASTERPIECE. (pun all the way intended.)

Black: Color, Material, Concept, one of the current exhibits at the Studio Museum, showcases work from modern and contemporary artists as they explore BLACK through their personal lens. Work from artists Sam Gilliam, Nari Ward, Glenn Ligon, Kara Walker, Noah Davis should be the one reason to catch this exhibit before it ends.

Davis Black Wall Street

Noah Davis, Black Wall Street, 2008 Courtesy: Studio Museum

But I give two more reasons why I’m stanning for this exhibit:

A) black is beautiful. Black artists creating pieces using black as their inspiration. It doesn’t get better than that.
B) Thelma Golden is the Chief Curator of the Studio Museum which means she’s responsible for championing and bringing amazing work to Harlem. Epitome of #blackgirlmagic.

The exhibit runs through March 6. Meaning you have less than two months to see. If you do go, tag us #CulturedMosaic. I would love to see pictures!

Designer Spotlight: Jason Dempsey

One of the reasons I started this blog is to give graphic designers of color a platform to share their work. As a graphic designer of color, I know the struggle of showcasing your designs to the world. I also couldn’t find a space that celebrated us in the art, design and culture space. I’ve been told if you don’t see what you want, then create it.

Jason Dempsey_Balm and Co

Kicking off this feature is graphic designer Jason Dempsey based out of Atlanta. I found his work through Alex Elle’s company with her daughter called Balm and Co. The product branding is what lured me in. The aesthetic is so clean and modern. It feels like a mainstream luxury brand. Of course, I had to see more where that design came from and the excellence continued.

Jason Dempsey_Selamta

Of course this is my favorite of his designs! Not only is the quote one of my favorites [Quality not quantity], but the type treatment is just DOPE!

DS_JD3

Check him out for yourself on his portfolio site: www.jsndmpsy.com or follow him on Instagram: @jsndmpsy! He’s available for hire so let him get your brand identity together!

Images Courtesy of Jason Dempsey’s Instagram 

Gordon Parks Exhibition at the High Musuem

A picture is a great way of capturing memories. It’s amazing how one image can bring you back to the place, day, and even time when the photo was taken. And there’s always a story to go with the pictures too. When I look at old photo albums with my parents, they always have a story.This is why I’m excited to share this photographic exhibition with you all. Legendary photojournalist and Essence Magazine co-founder Gordon Parks was a trailblazer in photography industry. He used his camera “as a weapon” against what he hated most about the world: racism, intolerance, poverty. Those three topics became the running themes seen throughout his work. He became the first black photographer working for Vogue and then became the first black staff photographer at Life Magazine.

Gordon Parks

Image Source: Life Magazine

In 1956, Life Magazine published a photographic essay with Parks’ work. The essay were photographs following families in Alabama, focusing how their lives were affected by segregation. The essay exposed the realities of segregation on the American people. It’s a privilege to have some of this collection along with many other images exhibited at the High Museum Art in Atlanta.  I need to make it a point to visit this exhibition since I missed the Fashion Fair exhibition, plus it will be a nice break from all the wedding planning. Be sure to catch this exhibition before it leaves in June!

Artist Spotlight: Veronica Marché Miller

Although I am a graphic designer, I cannot draw…well. Lol. I do plan on taking some sketching classes in the future because I believe it’s another skill I can add to my design arsenal. When I come across illustrators, I get excited because their work is inspiring. And then not even mention, a black woman who illustrates. Eeeek I can’t contain myself. I’m geeked to share our first artist of this Artist Spotlight series, Veronica Marché Miller. I came across her work on Renae Bluitt’s site and couldn’t resist looking up more of her work. VM_renae

I fell in love with this Solange inspired illustration, Radio.

VM_solange

I’m OBSESSED with leopard print so homegirl on the left is like my favorite.

VM_shadows

As you can see, her work is amazing. So amazing that she caught the attention of TJX Company and now you can purchase her illustrated cards and gift bags in T.J. Maxx, Marshall’s and Home Goods. #blackgirlsrock

You can view more of her work here. Veronica also just opened her Etsy store and can be hired for personal projects. Contact her:  veronica@veronicamarche.com.