A who’s who of top artists of color will be on hand as the Mackey Twins Art Gallery presents “Art’s Conscience II” at the Interchurch Center Gallery in Manhattan. The exhibit will include the works of Xenobia Bailey, Betty Blayton, Stacey Brown, Leroy Campbell, Demetric Denmark, James Denmark, Essud Fungcap, Magno Laracuente, Ruth Miller, Charly Palmer and TWIN and run from October 31 through November 30. Opening Night will be celebrated from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11, and include an Artists’ Talk at 6:30 p.m. sharp.
Those participating in the Artists’ Talk on Opening Night include Bailey, Brown, James Denmark, Fungcap, Laracuente, Miller, and Palmer. The event will be moderated by Diedra Harris-Kelley, co-director of the Romare Bearden Foundation. Harris-Kelley is also a historian, writer, and formally trained artist.
In April 2013, the Gallery, the largest collection of exclusive works of artists of color in the tristate area, presented “Art’s Conscience” at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. November’s exhibition continues and expands on that theme.
“The Conscience becomes the ‘soul’ in the matter of creating and collecting. The responsibility rests on both parties,” said Sharon Mackey, who, together with her identical twin sister, Karen, founded the Mackey Twins Art Gallery to develop art collectors of color while promoting the works by artists of color to all audiences. “Understanding the artist’s style process is critical.”
“The artists’ inner struggle is to create, whether it’s safe, unpopular or political. In spite of these challenges, the artists want the collector’s approval,” said Karen Mackey.
Clients and supporters of the gallery include Lonette McKee, Khalil Kain, Danny Simmons, Byron and Sylvia Lewis, Lloyd Williams and Voza Rivers, as well as first-time buyers entering the field and more experienced collectors.
The exhibition is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. The Interchurch Center Gallery is located at 475 Riverside Drive (at 120th Street), New York, NY 10115.
For more information on the exhibit or Mackey Twins Art Gallery, visit www.mackeytwinsart.com . Follow the gallery on Twitter at @MackeyTwinsArt1 or like it on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MackeyTwinsArtGallery.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Xenobia Bailey is an artist and designer best known for her eclectic crochet hats and her large-scale crochet pieces and mandalas, consisting of colorful concentric circles and repeating patterns. Her designs are influenced by African, Chinese, Native American and Eastern philosophies, with undertones of the 1970s “Funk” aesthetic. Her hats have been featured in United Color of Benetton ads, on the Cosby Show and in the Spike Lee film “Do the Right Thing.” In 2003, her designs were commemorated in the form of an Absolut Vodka ad entitled “Absolut Bailey.” Her work is in the permanent collections at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Allentown Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and at the Museum of Arts and Design. Most recently, some of her crochet work has been transformed into mosaics and is on display at the New York City subway 34th Street-Hudson Yards station.
Betty Blayton was an accomplished artist who referred to herself as a “spiritual impressionist.” Her works are on display at major museums and corporations throughout the country. She was one of the founding members of the Studio Museum in Harlem and founder of the Children’s Art Carnival. Blayton was the recipient of the 1984 Empire State Women of the Year in the Arts Award; New York State Governors Art Award; and the 1995 CBS Martin Luther King, Jr., Fulfilling the Dream Award, to name a few. Her vibrant works can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, Uniworld Advertising Corporation, Philip Morris Corporation, Fisk University, Spelman College, Virginia State College, Tougaloo College, David Rockefeller, Blanchette Rockefeller, Reginald Lewis, Byron Lewis, and more.
Stacey Brown, a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, offers an eclectic collection of original paintings for the contemporary art lover. Born and reared in Murfreesboro, North Carolina, his artistic journey of discovery began with aspirations for a career in graphic design. After graduating from the Art Institute of Atlanta, he embarked on a successful ten-year career in his chosen field, but something was “missing” in his life.
Leroy Campbell is a self-taught, mixed-media visual artist. Leroy Campbell has painstakingly captured the essence and emotion of God-fearing, self-reliant, proud, and intelligent subjects of his Gullah childhood through acrylic mixed-media collage-on-canvas works that display a deliberate choice of vintage quilted fabrics, newsprint clippings, burlap, threads, and elements of southern terrain. His works are also displayed in universities, corporations, and private collections.
Demetric Denmark resides in Winter Haven, Florida, with his wife, Kenya, and their five children. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Kansas State University. He is the grandson of artist James Denmark, whom he considers an inspiration. Denmark’s collages, paintings, and portraits were featured at the 2004–2005 National Black Fine Art Show in New York and at several Washington, DC, area shows. He continues to experiment with mixed media; currently using a mix of fabric, cutout collage elements and highly textured paint.
Born in Winter Haven, Florida, in 1936, James Denmark has been painting and creating art all of his life. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Florida Agriculture and Mechanical University, in Tallahassee, Florida, and graduated from the Pratt Institute of Fine Arts in New York, earning his Master of Fine Arts degree in 1976. He has been creating art professionally for more than 60 years and has had numerous solo exhibitions in
prestigious galleries in the United States and abroad. His oeuvre includes collages, still lifes, abstracts, and bronze sculptures. Denmark was given the National Urban League Living Legends Award in 1980. In 1987, he was awarded the 39th Annual Printing Industry Award given by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Essud Fungcap is an artist who strives to inject aspects of surrealism and convey a certain quiet, peaceful tropical style that reinforces the sense of being “there.” He believes that critical study of color and form for each work is essential. Consequently, his work always undergoes several transformations before reaching the point where he feels that it’s ready for presentation. He is the recipient of the Manhattan Arts International Magazine Award. Fungcap’s work has been exhibited at the Atlanta State Capitol building.
Magno Laracuente is an international award-winning artist with a distinctive style mixing expressionism, surrealism and abstract styles. Laracuente’s technique experiments have produced exceptional works of art that include paintings, sculpture, and photography. He was the recipient of the Osaka Triennale 2001 award, which introduced his unique style to the international community and currently has permanent works exhibited in El Museo del Barrio in New York, Contemporary Art Space in Osaka, Japan, and the Museum of Modern Art in the Dominican Republic.
Ruth Miller works primarily in hand-stitched embroidery, which she learned as a child at home and was inspired to use as a substitute for paint by the tapestries of Papa Ibra Tall. She attended Cooper Union, receiving drawing instruction from Stefano Cusumano and learning the psychological effects of color from Bauhaus-trained Hannes Beckman. Part of the artHARLEM coalition of artists, she received one of the first New York City Urban Artist Initiative grants and was a grant panelist for the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) and a participant in the State Department’s Art-in-Embassies Program. She currently resides on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, where she was granted a Mississippi Arts Commission fine art fellowship for 2012. She continues to use her art to explore issues arising from the intersection of intimacy and philosophy.
Charly Palmer is an award-winning artist of passionate images depicting the struggle for civil rights, families at work, still life and children in the wonderfully woven and layered backgrounds of patterns, color, and texture. The countryside images he creates will take you “back home,” wherever that may be. He is also a noted graphic artist and illustrator. Palmer was commissioned to create the official poster for the 1996 Olympics and the Atlanta Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; and the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan. His works are displayed in universities, corporations and private collections such as Alabama State University, City Hall in Milwaukee, Coca-Cola Company, John Lewis, Angela Bassett and the Honorable Andrew Young.
TWIN is composed of identical twin brothers Terry and Jerry Lynn. Their story is one of the most intriguing artist histories in the art industry. Each is a talented artist, but it’s their collaborative artistic genius that has won them acclaim for creating some of the most vibrant, exciting art the industry has seen in recent years.
ABOUT KAREN & SHARON MACKEY
Karen Mackey Witherspoon and Sharon Mackey-McGee, collectively known as “The Twins,” are co-principals of the Mackey Twins Art Gallery in Mount Vernon, New York. Avid life-long collectors, in 2004 they opened the Mackey Twins Art Gallery to develop communities of collectors, saturate homes and businesses with fine art, and educate non-collectors on how they can invest in fine art. Their gallery now stands as the largest collection of exclusive works of artists of color in the tristate area. They have curated exhibits at numerous influential tastemaker events, including the Harlem Fine Art Reception at the New York Times and Faith, Courage & Purpose at the Central Park Arsenal Gallery. They are recipients of numerous awards including the National Conference of Artists Black Art History Makers Award, the Harlem Business Alliance’s Community Service Award, and the Westchester County Trailblazer Award for Commitment to the Arts; in 2010, they were awarded the key to the City of Mount Vernon.