Up & Coming Weekly

February 11, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1209996

Contents of this Issue


Page 17 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM FEBRUARY 12-18, 2020 UCW 17 COVER STORY 'Troublesome Presence' at the Arts Council by DR. SHANESSA FENNER e Arts Council of Fayetteville/ Cumberland County presents the "Trouble- some Presence" exhibit until March 13. e intent of the exhibit is to create con- versations about troublesome moments for African Americans in today's society. "e exhibit, as far as the artwork that is featured inside of the art gallery, in- cludes paintings, sculptures, videos, mixed media, photography, spoken word, poetry and movement," said Metoya Scott, public relations manager at the Arts Council. "e exhibit features 19 pieces by 13 black North Carolina-based artists, and it is an amazing exhibition that is very thought provoking." e presenting artists are Derrick Beasley, Johnny Lee Chapman III, Dare Coulter, An- dre' Leon Gray, Jaki Shelton Green, Carly P. Jones, Stephen Hayes, Anthony Otto Nelson Jr., Nicole Oxendine, Telvin Wallace, Lamar Whidbee, Antoine Williams and Stephanie J. Woods. "ere is a five-minute film in our west gallery that loops all day long," Scott said. "It is called 'Free Market.' It features an original poem and movement that was directed by Michael S. Williams and was filmed at the Market House in downtown Fayetteville." In the piece, Williams speaks about the value that is placed on African Americans in history and today. "With this exhibit, 'Troublesome Pres- ence,' we are looking at identity, agency, introspection, intersectionality and other things," said Williams, independent con- sultant, curator and founder of e Black On Black Project. "e title of the exhibition comes from a speech that Abraham Lincoln gave in 1852 when he gave a eulogy for Henry Clay, who was president and one of the founders of the American Colonization Society, in which Lincoln referred to free Af- rican Americans as a troublesome presence on slaveholders." e Black On Black Project website, https://www.blackonblackproject.com, explains why America needs to be willing to examine its stance on equality saying, "is work matters because important conversations about equity need to happen so that all community members are valued. A diverse community can be enriching, but engaging in dialogue about identity and difference is a must. "is work makes a difference in the lives of mar- ginalized individuals and communities by allowing space to be seen and heard. It also makes a differ- ence in the lives of the larger community by creating space to engage with others. When this engagement and dialogue happen, everyone's life is enriched." Williams added the idea of the exhibition is to show the antithesis of troublesome — that Afri- can Americans have not been troublesome in the United States. "One of the pieces in the exhibit includes two works called 'A Radiant Revolution II' and 'A Radiant Revolution III' which are mixed media pieces by an artist named Stephanie J. Woods from Charlotte," said Williams of the two-piece installation that is considered one work. "e work really highlights how much (black women matter) and how im- portant black women are and how showing black women their 'black is beautiful' and 'strong black girl,' which is another phrase in one of the works, (is important). "ere's a piece in the show called 'Untitled,' and it is another video piece," said Williams. "It fea- tures words from North Carolina poet laureate Jaki Shelton Green, dance instructor Nicole Oxendine and opera singer Carly P. Jones, who are outliers in their respective fields because you don't see a lot of African American women in those roles. e idea is to show you have agency. "rough artwork and some of our programs and workshops, we hope to showcase these 13 North Carolina-based artists and the work that they produced to show African Americans in a different light other than troublesome, but rather (as) folks who have done a lot to help the United States," said Williams. "rough that, we hope to bring communities together to have somewhat difficult conversa- tions about some of the things we face today." On its website, the Arts Council notes "e Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cum- berland County partners with the Black On Black Project to produce an art exhibition and community program- ming that respond to the challenges communities of color face locally and across the country. After spending time in conversation with local leaders and members of the community, we've cre- ated an exhibit that aims to reflect a di- versity of experiences. is partnership desires to bring more perspectives to the table for an open, honest dialogue to create an equitable future." ere are four remaining events at the Arts Council in conjunction with this exhibition. Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. is a screening of "Wilmington on Fire." e documentary covers the only success- ful coup in United States history, which happened in 1898 in Wilmington, N.C. Following the screening, a panel discussion will take place, featuring the director of the film, Christopher Everett, as well as some of the docu- mentary's other team members. ursday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. is a panel discussion titled "How artists can affect change in the community." e panel- ists are Derrick Beasley, artist; Dare Coulter, artist; Sherris Johnson, found- ing director of OUR Place; Sonny Kelly, writer and performer of "e Talk." ursday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. is a panel discussion titled "e importance of understanding and documenting history."is panel discussion will address how the documentation of his- tory will affect how people remember history later . Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. is an evening of spoken word. Featured poets include Ayanna Albertson, Ashlee Connors, Ashley Lumpkins and Sherris John- son. e poetry is written in response to the "Trou- blesome Presence" exhibit. e spoken word event is the Arts Council's monthly Fourth Friday event. e film screening and three panel discussions are facilitated by Williams. Seating is limited for the programming events, so attendees should RSVP by emailing admin@ theartscouncil.com or by calling 910-323-1776. e exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information visit https://www.theartscouncil. com. or call 910-323-1776. DR. SHANESSA FENNER, Princi- pal, WT Brown Elementary School. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200. "Through It All" by Lamar Whidbee "The Blacker The Berry" by Dare Coulter

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - February 11, 2020