(NEWARK, NJ) -- Akwaaba Gallery presents a 3D virtual group exhibition of new artwork created during the 2020 Covid-19 quarantine. The “Soothing Souls” exhibition curated by Jo-El Lopez, will run until August 15, 2020.
Seventeen artists will be featured in this dynamic exhibition: Anonda Bell, Mashell Black, Maria Luis Extrela, Justin Francesco, Asha Ganpat, Steve Green, Geri Hahn, Monifa Kincaid, Cesar Melgar, Nell Painter, Akil Roper, Bryant Small, Armisey Smith, Mollie Thonneson, Vasquez, Bisa Washington and Antoinette Ellis-Williams.
During this time of social distancing and quarantine, art was created from a myriad of artistic styles - from one extreme to the other. Some artists used dark colors which represent the dark space as an expression of pessimism about the future. In contrast, some artists convey vibrant optimism about life as it is unveiled to the world anew, by creating bright and vibrant colors representing positive vision and hope. For this show, color is a lucid, engaging, conveyance of versatility, skill and a diversity of powerful, interesting and captivating work.
Cesar Melgar’s black and white photography for example, reflects both stress and tenderness that many felt during the quarantine, thereby allowing viewers a tangible experience of the sensitivity and spirituality of the subjects. Whereas, artist Monfia Kincaid, uses bright pastels in her work, representing a time in her past where a positive outlook was present, and in hope for the same in the future.
Other artists like Nell Painter speak upon the political climate that we are living in, encouraging a dialogue about the current administration and the Black Lives Matter movement. Artist Mashell Black, uses bright abstract strokes conveying images of everyday activities during the pandemic; a gardener tending flowers in one of his paintings evoke the cultivation of new growth in our future.
Because of the State imposed shut down, Akwaaba Gallery has not set an opening reception, but the show can be viewed at this link.
Akwaaba Gallery opened on February 15, 2019, located at 509 South Orange Avenue in Newark, NJ in the historic Fairmount neighborhood. The gallery features diverse and eclectic contemporary works of art in many mediums. Akwaaba's mission is to engage the community and public with exhibitions featuring emerging local and international artists.