Vision & Sound: An African American Experience exhibit on display at the Arts HQ February 2nd – February 26th
West Valley, Arizona (January 2, 2017) – The West Valley Arts Council invites you to view a historic, special exhibit, Vision & Sound: An African American Experience. This exhibit will be on display at the West Valley Arts HQ from February 2nd to February 26th with a meet the artist’s reception from 6:00pm to 9:00pm on Thursday, February 2nd.
Join us in the celebration of Black History Month presenting Artists Michael Cunningham, Stephen Marc, Bob Martin, Joe Willie Smith, Jewell Pender, Gabriel Bey and Johan Beckles representing pieces from the estate of Joseph Beckles, b. 1951 – d. 2005
Joe Willie Smith, our featured artist, is a performance artist, musician and designer. Since the age of ten, Joe has constantly created art from anything available. He creates with sound, collected treasures, and found objects to be exhibited and shared in homes, galleries, and special places. His collections have been featured in Central and East valley venues.
Michael Cunningham, expressionist artist is a native of New York now residing in Goodyear. Michael has been featured in art exhibits, speaking engagements and for his work in the culinary field. His portfolio includes Abstract, African, Musical and Floral paintings. His signature color compositions are readily recognizable as ” Cunningham’s” and have been commissioned by the State of California, Cities of Santa Ana, California and Goodyear, Arizona. His art is collected nationally and internationally. His culinary talents are artistically expressed in his fascinating flavor creations.
Stephen Marc is a Professor of Art at the School of Art, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University. Stephen, began teaching at ASU in 1998, following 20 years at Columbia College in Chicago. He is a photographer and digital montage artist, whose work has been extensively exhibited throughout his career. His previous research for Passage on the Underground Railroad, is a registered program of the Network to Freedom division of the National Park Service, a 2009 book publication, and was a University at Buffalo Galleries’ five-site traveling exhibition that included the Phoenix Art Museum.
Bob Martin, a native New Yorker, surrounds himself with art, jazz, dance and basketball. He has been creating art and exhibiting for more than 50 years. Bob studied at the School of Visual Arts and The Art Students League. Bob has exhibited in many venues throughout the country. His portraits are intense and colorful.
Jewell Pender, emerging artist and Chaparral High School student, started her artistic journey in kindergarten, drawing not only for her schoolwork but also for herself. Her love of cartoons and music furthered her passion for the arts. Jewell’s work can be found in the illustrations of a children’s book, titled Free to be Me, by Leslie Blackwell.
Joseph Beckles, b. 1951 – d. 2005, was part of the master artist community of the City of Los Angeles for over 30 years. Wood & steel were his mediums. Along with numerous group and solo gallery exhibits, the State of California and City of Los Angeles holds several of Joseph’s sculptures in their permanent collection. He was amongst a retrospective of California masters’ group exhibit at the Riverside Museum of Art in California for 2016. Internationally, his artwork is part of the holdings of the government of Senegal and Jordan.
Gabriel Bey, musician, writer, composer, leads Spooky Kool band. Tagged “Your Friend in the Spiritual Age”, he performs his original compositions along with jazz standards at valley venues including Scottsdale Community College, two separate school jazz combos, South Mountain Community Latin Jazz Band and Day Jazz Band.
The West Valley Arts HQ is located at 16126 North Civic Center Plaza, Surprise, AZ 85379. Special gallery hours for this exhibit are Tuesday through Thursday 10:00am to 5:00pm, Friday 10:00am to 2:00pm and Saturday and Sunday 12:00pm to 4:00pm. This exhibit is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Arizona Community Foundation, The Links Incorporated, Arizona Commission on the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation and Arizona State University.
For more information about the events, the performance calendar and the exhibit check the Vision and Sound: An African American Experience February 2017, Facebook page, or contact the West Valley Arts Council at 623-935-6384.
The West Valley Arts Council enriches the West Valley by growing a vibrant and connected arts and cultural community. For information on WVAC grants, arts education programs, the West Valley Arts HQ, or to become a Roster Artist, Donor, or Sponsor, please visit www.westvalleyarts.org.
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