Above: Ouattara Watts. b. 1957. Ivory Coast. Oliranos, Pastel on paper, 26 x 40 inch, Gift of William R. Karg
The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is thrilled to present a brand-new exhibition Beyond Tradition: Contemporary Sculptures from Africa, opening on February 25th, 2022, at The ARC in Downtown Opa-locka. The exhibition is curated by internationally renowned curator Tumelo Mosaka, the former lead curator for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. The exhibition challenges Western cultural norms and perspectives of what contemporary African art is by presenting African sculpture in dialogue with works from some of Africa’s exciting artists.
According to Mosaka, “In conceiving this exhibition, I wanted to turn a lens onto places less known in Africa, and in particular, Zimbabwe and Tanzania where artists have served as custodians as well as innovators. I want to bring a new understanding of the complexity and subtlety of African art and culture in contemporary times.”
“The end result is, a realization that African artists are pushing beyond Westernized notions of the African Diaspora, toward a more global conversation about humanity and their place in the world and they are doing so in the most eloquent of ways,” concluded Mosaka.
The exhibition takes advantage of OLCDC’s impressive holdings from its Karg Collection and features various stone and wood sculptures representing traditions from regions in Africa, including Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania, where carving tradition has a long cultural history. Featured artists include Sylvster Mubayi, Bernard Takawira and Edward Masaya, among others. Additionally, the exhibition will include paintings from famed artists Ouattara Watts, known for his large-scale canvas works that incorporate cryptic symbols, geometric designs and numerical sequences that speak to his cross-cultural identity and Malatanga Valente Ngwenya, a pioneer of modern African art with an aesthetic that is defined by a dense assembly of figures.
“We are very pleased to be able to show wonderful, important pieces from our Karg Collection and to do so in curatorially meaningful ways,” said Willie Logan, OLCDC’s President and CEO. “Beyond Tradition is a world class exhibition, made possible by the generosity of William R. Karg, the brilliance of Tumelo Mosaka, and our commitment to providing quality arts programming to our South Florida community,” continued Logan.
“As curator and educator, it gives me great pleasure to take the curatorial work of Tumelo Mosaka and develop substantive educational programming and community engagement,” said Adrienne Chadwick, Art Manager at the OLCDC. According to Chadwick, throughout the exhibition’s six-month run, she has prepared interactive programs that are designed to excite, engage, and educate visitors, including an art lecture, carving workshop, African marketplace, and Afro Beats party.
Beyond Tradition is open to the public between February 25th and August 28th, 2022, at the ARC, which is located at 675 Ali-Baba Avenue in Opa-locka. The free exhibition is open every second Saturday from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment any other time.
To make an appointment or for more information, please visit www.olcdc.org/beyondtradition
For more information about upcoming programming, please visit www.olcdc.org.