Black Art Matters

Black Art Matters: Alkebulan Cultural Center's Artist Gallery

In times of duress for Black people -which is honestly a constant state of  encountering countless injustices, prejudice and stereotypes and breaking them down - art has always been a beacon of light. The cornerstone of African American culture is displaying that art, expressing that pain and joy of what it means to be Black, and representing our people the way we see them. On September 25th at the Akebulan Cultural Center in Pasadena, California that merging of past, present, and future Black art compiled in a gallery viewing featuring the artists Maurice Howard, LP Ross, and Christen Austin. Each with their own style yet the common thread is Black art matters. Galleries such as these are important for the community and reminder that we matter and the authentic representation of our culture matters too.  

Artist Maurice Howard
As I walked into the Artist's Gallery the artist Maurice Howard had imparted so many gems of wisdom. At the end of the Q&A he had a gracious speech thanking the women in the room and women all around, saying with out them there is no us. His art has a youthful joy to it and his ode to women is a motif in his artwork. The women in his work are smiling, in mid-thought, and often adorned in garbs and clothing central to African culture.

Artist LP Ross

Graphic Artist LP Ross utilizes digital imagery creating entire worlds with his art. There is a fantasy element to his work that is other-worldly and can easily be adapted into an intriguing sci-fi film. He explained the narrative behind his art and he told me he's scheduled to release a graphic novel in 2017 based off of one of his pieces. His artwork has a certain sorrow and sadness to them. The darkness and coldness to his pieces enhances the themes of being alienated and seen as an other. The mixture of dark colors with pungent purple hues for one of his pieces is him at his best. It gives you an eerie feeling that the young lady in the piece knows the sky is opening up above her yet she isn't phased by this phenomenon.   

The audience looking at Christen Austin's "Conceptual Self-Portrait" & "Blakademia" artwork

Artist Christen Austin

 Although artist Christen Austin is still finding her niche she is gifted enough to do commissioned pieces for intuitions like Pasadena City College. I encouraged her to be more selfish with her time to refine her own style.  Her stand out piece is ironically entitled Parallel Lines, Parallel Minds. Parallel lines never meet but in this painting the clashing of these two trains of thoughts is truly beautiful. With alternating shades where she is beside her self the final frame she's seen yelling. Her angst reverberating throughout the  painting is stunning. The sheer frustration of being a budding artist screams off the canvas. This piece should resonate with everyone in the beginning stages of their artistry.
Instagram: @c.austinart

"Parallel Lines, Parallel Minds"

"Connecting The Past To The Present"

"Roses Are Red"

"Black Magnolia"

"A Portrait of Lauryn Hill"


"Conceptual Self-Portrait"


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