(Oakland's South And West African Artists Exchange)
This diasporic exhibit is the latest series in the gallery's artists exchange program to celebrate Oakland beyond borders. OSAWAAE much like the original African surname, "Osawe," invokes talent, cheerfulness, wisdom, devotion and a deep passion to transform the world.
Curated by Eric Murphy, Salif Doubare, and Khanyi Mawhayi
in collaboration with BLVCK Block
February 5 – March 27 2021
January 1 --- January 30 2021
The Art of Benjamin Arizmendi
Benjamin Arizmendi is an abstract artist residing in Oakland, California. Influenced by abstract expressionism, photography and digital media, Arizmendi uses color and composition in various forms to explore human consciousness and subjectivity. The purpose of abstract art, for Arizmendi, is to freely explore and express the internal world of the mind in its various emotional, intellectual, and spiritual modalities.
More boldly, Arizmendi believes these subjective explorations and expressions can help human beings understand external, objective reality. Arizmendi believes that abstract art can be a profound tool for understanding the world that science unveils, a tool that unifies internal, subjective truths with external objective truths.
While science quantifies the empirical world, abstract art can be used to "quantify" the world of mind and consciousness. Arizmendi's thesis is that mind and consciousness are central to our understanding of reality, and that artistic abstraction can bring mind and consciousness to bear upon rational, scientific inquiry..
Arizmendi’s art has been shown throughout Northern and Southern California, as well as East Hampton, NY and Vienna, Austria. He has been represented by Hugo
Rivera Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. Arizmendi received his BA in philosophy with honors from UCLA. Before becoming a full time artist he was a lawyer and a financial advisor. He holds a JD from the George Washington University Law School.
December 4, 2020 – January 30, 2021
Poetic Justice: From L.A. (Leimert Park) to the Bay
Curated by Eric Murphy and Jideofor Chikeruba
"Poetic Justice: From L.A. to the Bay," is a muti-media visual artist exchange exhibit between Bay Area and L.A. artists in the gallery hubs of downtown Oakland and the L.A. neighborhood of Leimert Park. This carefully curated simultaneously run group exhibit also includes artists workshops, lectures, walking tours and other community collaborative projects.
The title, Poetic Justice, is a nod and a tribute to the 1993 film by the late director, John Singleton. It's based on a character in L.A. named Justice (portrayed by Janet Jackson) who uses poetry to deal with the pain of her loss as she journeys her way to Oakland to attend a convention.
Poetic in this exhibit explores serendipitous connections such as Aziz Gallery, a former production studio of the late John Singleton or perhaps the Los Angeles neighborhood of Leimert Park named after land developer Walter Leimert who was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Justice in this exhibit can be referenced as creating positive outcomes or establishing one's alienable rights.
September 4 -- November 30, 2020
Knifes, Nails, & Tambourines
Works by Kaya Fortune
"My work reflects how African people of the diaspora have inspired the world through art, music, history and culture.
Using African symbolism in my work is to link the past with the present. Also to honor those artists who have inspired me to continue pushing the boundary in my work.
I want people to feel a sense of liberation, and create images that reflect our culture. Using Voudoum, blues, jazz, fashion, Egyptian history, my artistic vision is a mixed bag to honor the legacy of my people."
September 4 -- November 30, 2020
Fragments of Poetry and Silence
Paintings by Yari Ostovany
"..Each series has its origin in a cognitive/emotional spark, an experience used as a point of departure, where gestural outbursts, atmospheric passages and the ethereal coalesce, with a blending of intellection and intuition, to perhaps bring together unfinished inventories of fragments and detritus of states of formation – the liminal states.
Connecting to a greater energy by using the energy of the gravity of the earth to push and move paint until the distinctions between the foreground and the background and the spatial hierarchy melt away and disappear and the ephemeral begins to emerge.
An archiving process having to do with psychic geology and, somewhat akin to layers of memory – giving way to another, ephemeral sense of form and visual phenomena, dealing with an interiority as opposed to an exterior reality.
I see abstraction as representational insofar as it is a representation of a psychic state, not an external reality. The trajectories in contemporary painting in which my work belongs range from Abstract Expressionism in the west to Persian and Taoist/Zen aesthetic sensibilities in the east and other perennial visionary paths of wisdom."
July 10 – August 29, 2020
Recovery A.C.T. (Art, Culture, and Technology)
Recovery A.C.T. is the inaugural and post shelter-in-place exhibit by the Brookland Exchange Project (B.E.P.), exploring various meanings and implications of what recovery means to each participating artist in the Bay Area and other East Coast cities.
The exhibit originated from a joint discussion with Oakland, Ca. based curator, Eric Murphy and Brooklyn, N.Y./Puerto Rico based curator, Tarisse Iriarte of Curated Concepts, LLC. The conversation emphasised parallels of urban development and gentrification, not just from a local
perspective, but also from a broader bi-coastal study and how place-making aids historic preservation.
Beginning with the cities of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Oakland, CA. which, historically in part, shared the same name, expanded to similar conditions taking place in other cities. For this exhibit, 'recovery' was chosen as the theme to reflect various conditions in this country from civil unrest, our current pandemic to personal loss and how arts, culture (communities) and technology can help heal and address solutions to preserving our world.
May 8 - June 28 2020
The Garden of Adornment
The Garden of Adornment embarks into realms of design and ritual, and asks us where the garden really ends and human culture begins – or if there was ever a separation between the two.
Returning to Joyce Gordon Gallery after exhibits in 2016 (Peace Within Chaos) and 2018 (Night Flowers), the Garden of Adornment builds on Kevin’s well-known studio and plein air flowers, exploring new ideas in design, painting, paper, and adornments.
“Even during the dark times of this pandemic, I maintain the belief that art, love, and human expression have never been defeated by fear. But, as I make final preparations for The Garden of Adornment, many local galleries post cancellations and shutdowns. My commitment goes beyond this May 2020 show. I’m dedicating the Garden of Adornment to remind us all that staying safe isn’t only about protecting yourself, it’s about remembering to keep your dream alive and to live for what you love,” Kevin Woodson
Dec 6 2019 - Feb 28 2020
Heaven And Earth
This collection of artwork explores connections between the metaphysical and the natural world as we know it. I am utilizing themes from African cultures, religion, mythology, and allegorical symbolism to create an overall narrative of unity within life on earth and the mysteries of the universe. I am in fact, tapping into these unified sources when I create.
As humans evolve and continue to seek a connection to higher powers and the infinite, our true test is to live among each other in peace, with compassion for others and reverence for nature. Free of judgment knowing that we all are connected not only to each other but to the oneness of the universe. As the original people, I believe that members of the Africa diaspora will be leaders in this movement. It is hope that as you view this exhibit that you will see these principles reflected in the works of ‘Heaven and Earth.’
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Bruce Graves has enjoyed a long and successful career as an illustrator, graphic designer, photo retoucher, and fine artist. He is a graduate at the University of San Francisco and the S.F. Academy of Art College who currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
David has exhibited at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, Pa., The Rush Gallery in NYC, The Kenkeleba Galley, NYC, the N.Y. Society of illustrators, The Richmond Art Center among other venues. This is his second solo exhibit at the Joyce Gordon Gallery.