Guest contributor Bayunga Kialeuka shares a few of his favorite pieces from Coconut Groove’s Kroma Gallery. Located on the historically Black west side of Coconut Grove in Miami, Florida, this gallery continues the tradition of providing space for Black artists to thrive.
The Village West Renaissance exhibition, curated by Rodney Jackson, uses art to critique development and make a greater connection with African American social institutions to community infrastructure and stability. The conversation subliminally conveys socio-political rhetoric of civil rights progress by focusing on individual lives of everyday African Americans and their families, embedded in public and social proactivity in their communities.
The exhibit launches with Judith Salman’s installations depicting bondage and the transatlantic slave transport quarters. Robert H. Simms family photo collections reveal a personal perspective of a family involved in the social and civil institutions that narrate the evolution of Black Miami from the 50’s to the early 80’s. Alain Laird, a self-taught artist, depicts another nostalgic direction by comparatively showcasing portraits of 19th century rural Black Americana.
These works are selected reflections of social institutions of Black Miami.
Bayunga Kialeuka is a Congolese-American visual artist and curator. He currently resides in Miami, Florida.