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George Floyd Memorial Bust Released for 3D Printing by Sculptors Daniel and Rodman Edwards

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. -- A memorial bust of George Floyd will be available to everyone supporting the Black Lives Matter protests all over the globe. The George Floyd memorial bust, which is currently online for virtual viewing, can also be 3D printed at local libraries, maker spaces, colleges, and community networks of individuals with 3D printers. The 3D printing file is available for free at Sketchfab and is a presentation of love from the sculptors to the Floyd family and protesters at large, announced Cory Allen Contemporary Art.

The memorial bust, modeled after a photo of George Floyd, which has been the source of many community murals, depicts a strong and gentle man. It was created by the father-and-son team of sculptors, Daniel and Rodman Edwards.

"While protesting is pivotal, there are plenty of other effective modes of activism," said Rodman Edwards, "we agreed that using our talents was the best way we could show our support."

3D printing is a service many local libraries are making available to the public and websites like 3D Printing Media Network provide listings of libraries with 3D printers as well as maker spaces. "There is an active 3D printing community and many of those people are staying at home and social distancing, unable to join the protests, but wishing to show their support - they can 3D print a memorial portrait of George Floyd at home, and post images or video of the bust for online vigils through social media," said Daniel Edwards.

"The memorial bust of George Floyd puts power into the peoples' hands. For the first time in history, individuals have the right to choose who they wish to memorialize forever. This is a step in the right direction and will hopefully set about a trend in civic artworks," said Rodman Edwards.

Daniel and Rodman Edwards are sculptors who reside outside of San Francisco. Their work can be viewed at https://HipHopAllStars.Art.

The Memorial Bust for George Floyd will be available for virtual viewing and download at

For more information, contact Cory Allen at 405-889-2679.

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*Caption: "George Floyd Memorial Bust," by Rodman Edwards.

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Images of an Artist’s Performance from One Month Before the Pandemic Become Increasingly Relevant as Places Re-open and Fates Unfold

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- An American artist, Ayzay Ukwuoma, presents new images from an art performance he had done less than one month before the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today's practice of social distancing, currently makes the performance impossible to do. But, the images of his "Idea Sale," performed in France, only weeks before the pandemic began are striking, as they reveal a sentiment of trust needed for us to continue to exchange our ideas.

Just a few short weeks before countries closed their borders, an American artist arrived in France and visited the Biennale de Lyon to perform a sell outdoors. Ayzay Ukwuoma, a Los Angeles-based artist, held an "Idea Sale" outside of the three sites where the biennale was active on that afternoon; Usine Fagor, L'Institut d'art Contemporain, and macLYON.

In front of the large gatherings, the artist carefully retrieved 50 light bulbs of varying sizes from a large suitcase, and laid them atop a pair of blue and red rugs, to form the make-shift composition of a flag with lights as stars. Poignantly, on that weekend, which also featured the city of Lyon's Festival of Lights, he took a light bulb in his hand, raised it in the air in a forwarding motion, gesturing to the passersby. Shortly after, he extended another, and then another. Ayzay Ukwuoma had begun his "Idea Sale."

The artist stated that the materials surrounding him in the performance spoke of the position of someone foreign or outside on many levels, "between two countries, and between two languages, in-between, and between the street and in the building." He further stated that the piece was about trust, needed for dialogue to occur.

Resonating with a wink at the artist David Hammons who did another kind of sale in New York City many decades ago, Ukwuoma placed his lightbulbs on the rugs with care. He would explain that each bulb came with a price tag on which a verb was printed with a translation on each side-one in French, and the other in English, referencing actions exchanged between strangers on both sides of a dialogue.

Now that access to space is limited and stifled out of necessity, the "Idea Sale," performed less than one month before the pandemic alludes to relevant subtleties within negotiations that occur each time strangers meet.

"We all come with baggage," the artist comments. "I may bring the common cold, or I may bring the cure for a cold that is uncommon," he says, poetically addressing the unknown value that we each carry into shared spaces. In the balance, we must stay open to each other, even when places are closed.

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Instagram: @ayzayukwuoma

About Ayzay Ukwuoma:

Ayzay Ukwuoma is an American multidisciplinary artist working in paint, text, installations, and performance. Often relating to displacement and connectivity, his works include components of spatial intervention, plays on sign systems, and representations of language in codified forms, such as hand-written Morse or binary code-0's and 1's. He is an MFA graduate of CalArts and has a Master's degree in Information Systems and Technology from George Washington University.

Photo caption: Ayzay Ukwuoma performing "Idea Sale" in France, one month before the Pandemic.


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Casa Romantica Shares the Beauty of Place in New Exhibit at John Wayne Airport

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. -- Casa Romantica Cultural Center and Gardens, an award-winning southern California 501(c)(3) nonprofit, celebrated the opening of its new exhibit on display at John Wayne Airport on Saturday, February 8. "Our hope is that the 6 million people traveling through John Wayne Airport during the next several months will see the images in the exhibit and be encouraged to visit Casa Romantica in San Clemente," said Amy Behrens, Executive Director. "It is the convergence of art and place that makes Casa Romantica so unique."

The exhibit is located on the upper level of the Thomas F. Riley Terminal in the walkway between Terminal-B and Terminal-C, before security screening, and is visible to anyone traveling through the Airport through June 2020.

Casa Romantica past Executive Director Berenika Palys secured the exhibition for the institution. Palys, Behrens, and Board President Ruth DeNault presided over a private dedication ceremony with local officials on February 8 at the airport.

The exhibit features Casa Romantica's commissioned works and site-specific adaptations in the visual and performing arts that highlight its location perched atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as its arts education programs for children and adults, at the historic Spanish Colonial Revival estate of San Clemente's City founder Ole Hanson.

Built in 1927, the Ole Hanson home, its gallery and 2.5 acres of botanical gardens are open to the public daily for self-guided or docent-led tours as well as private events. Visitors to Casa Romantica can enjoy wide-ranging cultural programming, including music, art, dance, theater, horticulture, and lecture series that bring international talent to south Orange County.

Free arts education programs for children are offered year-round, including its acclaimed Music Festival Academy, Summer Dance Workshop, STEAM-based field trips and more.

For additional information about Casa Romantica, visit

To learn more about JWA's Art Programs, visit

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CAPTION: Casa Romantica and City leaders pose in front of one of the panels of the exhibit at John Wayne Airport (Left to right: Ruth DeNault, Casa Romantica Board President; Bonnie Koch, Casa Romantica Board member; Amy Behrens, Casa Romantica Executive Director; Kathy Ward, City of San Clemente Councilmember.

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Jack Rabbit Gallery Unleashes ‘Texas Heat Wave,’ Featuring the Lone Star State’s Hottest Artists

HOUSTON, Texas -- On February 1, Jack Rabbit Gallery will unleash "Texas Heat Wave," an art exhibition featuring a select group of exceptional artists from the State of Texas. An opening reception will be hosted by Jack Rabbit Gallery from 6-9 p.m., February 1, 2020, and the collection will remain on view through February 26, 2020.

The show will feature five artists that have been heating up the art market, but who are new to Jack Rabbit Gallery: Laura Goodson, Sari Shryack, Rachel Dory, Jennifer Troice, and Rapheal Crump. Through the show, guests of Jack Rabbit Gallery will enjoy the depth and diversity of fine art in Texas.

Texas Heat Wave will include a new series of black and white oil paintings of caballeros and bandidos by Laura Goodson, who was raised in Southwest Texas near the Mexico border. Goodson's monochromatic characters draw lines between good and evil, and ultimately, the human condition. These portraits of masculine characters from the American West tell a story that emphasizes guilt, misdirection, and loss, but also the hope of human resilience and perseverance through difficulty.

Rachel Dory of Austin will present a new series of windswept landscapes and cityscapes that takes the audience on a journey of discovery through roadside America. Her subtle, muted earth tones convey a quiet simplicity devoid of distractions, impurities, and excess. The resulting image serves as a window through which you take a closer look and feel like you know that place.

At the other end of the color spectra, Austin-based artist Sari Shryack uses color as an almost explosive element. Her images of pop culture whirl and twirl through bright seas of vibrant color. Similarly, the urban street art of Rapheal Crump illustrates the world as Crump sees it, not as it is. With neon glare and fluorescent flourish, Crump gives the viewer an up close view of life on the street, from street lamps to kicks.

The show will also feature new bronze sculptures by Dallas-based artist Jennifer Troice that use elegant and simple lines to convey the grace and beauty of nature. Accented angles contrast with organic shapes. While distinctly modern, the sculptures are not abstract; instead, they fall within the category of geometric minimalism.

The exhibition will also include new works by Christopher Turner, Carla Bosch, Nicolle Dhimes, Jill Hakala, Leslie Gaworecki, Carlos Castillo Marcoleta and other gallery artists who live in Texas. These are well-established and solidly-emerging artists working in oil, acrylic, glass, and mixed media.

Opening Reception 05/31/2019, 6-9 p.m.
228 E 27th St, Houston, TX 77008 (Houston Heights)

More information:

About Jack Rabbit Gallery

Jack Rabbit Gallery is Houston's fine art destination. Grab a drink and casually explore at your own pace in the airy, industrial space with high ceilings, abundant natural light, and concrete floors. Conveniently located at the corner of 27th and Cortlandt in the Heights Arts District, all works of original art have been curated for modern lifestyles to make homes and offices inspiring. JRG is open Wednesday to Saturday, 11 - 5, and Sunday 1-5, and 24 hours a day at

Follow JRG on Facebook and Instagram @jackrabbitgallery if you want to run with the Rabbit.

Caption: Original Oil on Canvas by Laura Goodson.

Caption: Bronze Hammerhead by Jennifer Troice.


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Casita Maria Celebrates Garifuna Culture with Gallery Exhibition and Public Programming

BRONX, N.Y. -- Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education and Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. are delighted to announce Garifuna Intangible Heritage, an exhibition celebrating the cultural expression of the Garifuna people of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, St Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States. The art gallery exhibition and related public programs comprise the Winter season of ¡CelebrARTE!, Casita Maria's South Bronx arts and culture series.

Through ¡CelebrARTE! and other public programs, Casita Maria has become a premier location for the arts and culture of the South Bronx. "The Casita Maria Gallery features and promotes local, national, and international artists whose work reflects and honors the vibrant communities of Hunts Point and the South Bronx. Our programming and the artists we showcase are a testament to the transformative power of the arts," says Creative Arts Director Gail Heidel.

Garifuna Intangible Heritage will showcase the work of two self-taught Garifuna artists, Pen Cayetano and Isidra Sabio, whose brightly-colored paintings and digital prints highlight Garifuna culture, cultural expressions, and daily life.

The Garifuna Beat!, a companion photography exhibition in Casita Maria's Young Artist Gallery, will depict the joyful self-expression of the Garifuna Punta Dance Style.

Garifuna Intangible Heritage will honor the 18th anniversary of UNESCO's proclamation of the Garifuna Language, Music, and Dance as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This Heritage consists of the intangible and tangible aspects of the whole body of cultural practices, resources and knowledge systems developed, nurtured and refined by Garifuna people, and that are transmitted from generation to generation as a crucial component of their sense of identity and continuity.

Winter 2019-2020 season of ¡CelebrARTE! (Celebrate Yourself) series
On view at the Casita Maria Gallery December 5, 2019 - February 28, 2020

Free Public Events
Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
* Exhibition Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Thursday, December 5, 2019, 5:30 - 8 p.m.
* Workshop: ¡ExpresARTE! Express Yourself Through Garifuna Dance: Wednesday evenings beginning December 11, 6:30-8 PM. Workshop series on Garifuna dance styles, led by acclaimed performer Luz F. Soliz.
* ¡ExpresARTE! Performance: We will celebrate the end of the workshop with performances by ExpresARTE participants and Soliz's WABAFU Garifuna Dance Theater.
o February 28, 2020, 4-5:30 p.m.: Casita Maria program performance, open only to participants in Casita Maria's after-school program.
o February 28, 2020, 7 - 9 p.m.: Community performance-- free and open to the public.

Both performances will take place in the auditorium:

Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education
928 Simpson Street
Bronx, N.Y. 10459

Book Club: One Book One Bronx, Wednesday evenings, 6:30 - 8 PM. Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5.
Featured book: Searching for Zion: The Quest for Home in the African Diaspora by Emily Raboteau.

Each week, the group will meet at Casita Maria to discuss a book related to themes reflected in art work featured in the Gallery. Reading selections reflect the Bronx's racial, economic, and gender demographics while (re)sparking a love of literature. The first 15 attendees to each series will receive a free copy of the book; participants are free to join even if they have missed earlier sessions.

Learn More:

Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education - a 501(c)(3) non-profit - creates a safe and welcoming community, enriching and uplifting youth and families towards success through shared cultural, art and educational experiences and programs. We are the first and oldest Latino charity in New York, founded in 1934.

Garifuna Coalition USA, Inc. advocates for issues that affect the Garifuna community by projecting a united voice. The coalition contributes to the improvement of the social, economic, political and cultural conditions of New York's Garifuna Community.

One Book One Bronx is presented by the Literary Freedom Project, which is committed to creating spaces that help leverage the power of books, culture, and education. LFP's programs value the variety of histories and cultures found in the Bronx and give residents places to build community and explore social engagement.

Casita Maria's exhibition and public programs are made possible by support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

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*Caption: Garifuna Village by Isidra Sabio.

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Solo Exhibition of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang, International Preeminent Artist of First Class Standing, Amazes Art World at Palais du Louvre

PARIS, France -- Xingyi Gu, Professor of Guangzhou University School of Humanities announced that Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang's solo art exhibition "Seeing Two Worlds in One Flower" was held at Palais du Louvre in Paris between October 10 and 12. Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang is a world-renowned painter. Throughout Asia, she is the only artist to whom the New York Academy of Art conferred the title of international preeminent artist of first class standing. The exhibition is located at the Hall des Marechaux of the Musee des Arts Decoratifs.

The art world has classified the quality of ink painting into four different levels: Class of Proficiency, Class of Wonderment, Class of Divinity, and Class of Ease. Artwork of the Class of Proficiency has the ability to present a resemblance of objective reality, achieving likeness in form. This is the first stage of artistic creation. The art world calls it the stage of sketching. This is a stage that an artist cannot skip, yet they also cannot remain at this status quo, because this is an elementary stage. The next level is the Class of Wonderment. Artworks of this Class demonstrates highly skilled techniques. The artist is able to paint anything at will without revealing any trace of effort. However, one also cannot remain stagnant at this stage.

The next level after the Class of Wonderment is the Class of Divinity where the art carries likeness of 'form' and likeness of 'spirit.' In ink painting, the highest state of accomplishment is the Class of Ease where the artist attains natural ease by using simple brushstrokes to fully capture the form. With the most succinct brushwork and the most superb technique, the artist depicts objective reality and attains a state of miraculousness where both form and spirit are fully captured. This is the kind of art that viewers never get tired of appreciating; it leaves a wonderful aftertaste.

Simply put, the artistry of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang has attained the highest level of artistry in ink painting which is the Class of Ease. One of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang's paintings Pomegranates in a Basket realized a top auction price of US$1.27 million at the Gianguan Auction House in New York on March 13 of this year. It clearly shows that the art of Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang is recognized by art collectors and people of foresight alike. This exhibition showcases 27 of Professor Wang's extraordinary artworks each of which has reached the height of the Class of Ease.

More than 200 distinguished members of society, artists, collectors, entrepreneurs, and art lovers attended the exhibition opening; including representatives from French museums, professors from French art institutes, French nobilities, renowned artists, celebrities, representatives from auction houses, art critics and journalists from major news media. They all marveled at the artworks and expressed their praises. They considered this an unprecedented experience for French people.

Many renowned art experts spoke highly of these artworks - including art critic Aude de Kerros, the Artistic Director of Musée Cernuschi Eric Lefebvre, Francesca Baldi of Centre Pompidou, President of Académie International de peinture à l'encre, Mr. Robert Faure, and several representatives from the Pompidou Centre. They were astonished that the level of artistry of Eastern ink paintings surpassed that of traditional western art. Professor Wang is the only artist who achieved it!

From my understanding, this is the only large-scale solo exhibition of an Asian artist that has ever taken place in the Louvre Museum. The artistic accomplishment is proven to be of the excellence of an international preeminent artist of first class standing.

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*Photo caption: More than 200 distinguished members of society, artists, collectors, entrepreneurs, and art lovers attended Professor Yuhua Shouzhi Wang's solo exhibition "Seeing Two Worlds in One Flower" (Une Fleur Deux Mondes) at the Museum of Louvre in Paris. Image source: Professor Xingyi Gu.

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‘Treasure Trove’ From Italy’s ‘Most Underrated Museum’ Travels to The United States for the First Time

CHICAGO, Ill. -- It is with great pleasure that the American Friends of Capodimonte (AFC) announce the first U.S. traveling exhibition of 40 Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces, most of which have never been viewed by an American audience, from the Capodimonte Museum in Naples, Italy; the royal palace built in 1738 by Charles of Bourbon, King of Naples and Sicily (later King Charles III of Spain).

"Flesh & Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte Museum" will open October 17, 2019 and run through January 26, 2020 at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) in Washington state before traveling to Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum in Texas from March 1, 2020 to June 14, 2020.

"This spectacular exhibit is also a testament to the strong cooperation between Italy and the United States and some of their greatest cultural institutions which tirelessly endeavored to renew the bonds of our deep cultural ties by bringing a unique glimpse of Italy to Seattle and Fort Worth," says Armando Varricchio, Ambassador of Italy to the United States.

"We're thrilled for SAM to be the only West Coast venue for this powerful exhibition from the extraordinary Capodimonte Museum-our first collaboration with the institution," says SAM's Curator of European Painting and Sculpture, Chiyo Ishikawa. Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Museum, says the exhibition's paintings "embody innovation, exuberance and grandeur-the result of revolutionary painting techniques and dramatic use of light and dark. The works continue to influence artists and inspire art lovers the world over."

"Flesh & Blood" is presented chronologically, tracing a 200-year period from the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries. Highlights include Parmigianino's Antea (ca. 1535), El Greco's Boy Blowing on an Ember (1571-1572), Titian's Danae (1544-1545) and Artemisia Gentileschi's Judith and Holofernes (ca. 1612-1617), featured in "When a Woman Wields a Weapon" in the Wall Street Journal, August 16, 2019.

"The joy of Capodimonte," says the museum's director Sylvain Bellenger, "is not only the breadth of the collection, but the quality. We have the best of Titian, Parmigianino, Annibale Carracci, not to mention Italian giants unknown to the general public like Schedoni and Preti. This exhibition brings many of these knock-out masterpieces to the United States for the first time."

A 160-page illustrated softcover exhibition catalogue, produced in collaboration with the American Friends of Capodimonte Curatorial Fellows, will be available at the Seattle Art Museum and Kimbell Art Museum.

Referred to as an "under-visited treasure trove" by the New York Times in 2019 and "the most underrated museum in Italy" by Condé Nast Traveler in 2016, Capodimonte was built in 1738 by King Charles of Bourbon. It sits atop the highest hill above the ancient city of Naples, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The core of the collection is the Farnese collection of paintings and sculpture, formed in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and inherited by Charles of Bourbon. This fall the museum opens a yearlong exhibition on the oldest opera house in Europe, Naples' Teatro San Carlo. The exhibition, "Napoli Napoli: Of Lava, Porcelain and Music," recounts the Bourbon monarchy's patronage of the arts and sciences during Naples' golden age.

More information:

American Friends of Capodimonte (AFC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created to bring awareness about one of the world's greatest museums to an English-speaking audience. The AFC's Fellowship is the only U.S. program to offer young American art historians the experience of working in an Italian museum. AFC members receive exclusive access to Capodimonte Museum and Royal Park, U.S. events related to the museum's collection and priority on custom trips to Naples and beyond.

For more information, visit: or

The exhibition is organized by the Capodimonte Museum (Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte), Naples, the Seattle Art Museum, the Kimbell Art Museum, and MondoMostre.

Media Contact:
For information about AFC events and membership, press inquiries, or to set up an interview with Sylvain Bellenger, Director of the Capodimonte Museum, please contact

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*Image caption: Artemisia Gentileschi, "Judith and Holofernes" (ca.1612-17), oil on canvas, 159 x 126 cm; Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples.

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Emily Silver’s ‘On the Mojave Road’ opens at the Desert Light Gallery – Sept. 6 to Dec. 31, 2019

KELSO, Calif. -- The Desert Light Gallery, located at the Mojave National Preserve's Kelso Depot Visitors Center presents "On the Mojave Road," a solo exhibit of paintings in watercolor on paper by nationally celebrated painter and National Park Service Artist in Residence, Emily Silver. The Visitors Center is at 90942 Kelso Cima Rd, Kelso, CA 92309 and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday - Monday.

Inspiration for Emily's Residency and her captivating exhibit of 22 paintings came from Emily's long walks on portions of the Mojave Road, which has been described by Desert Journalist Len Wilcox as a place where the "uncommonly beautiful" meets a "peculiar form of hell." Silver hiked 92 miles (out and back) of the Mojave Road's rutted dirt tracks in 3 - 4 mile stretches.

"Walking," she says, "provides an opportunity to slow down and experience first hand the qualities that imbue this route with its powerful presence."

Raised in a family of geologists and artists whose ancestors took part in the settling and mapping of the American West, Emily developed a deep affinity for its geography, cultural history, and the history of migrations, which drives her walking and painting practices. "During my walk, I create plein-air sketches and makes notes, which I use when I return to the studio. I focus on creating paintings that investigate the role painting plays in our psychic understanding of specific places, as well as the inverse: the idea that our relationship with land influences the process of painting."

She describes her work as abstract, with a deep topographical connection based upon maps, and her paintings express an emotional response that captures the mystical and spiritual values of Mojave National Preserve. Emily points out, "My visual vocabulary includes flows and aggregates of watercolor, pigment, salts, and sediments, geometric patterns suggesting temple floors and cracked mud, and relics of native textural materials. These are often superimposed over cartographic skeletons derived from satellite photos and digital maps. I'm interested in documenting abstract sensations such as light, ghosts, patterns and textures, silence, aridity, and gravity, as well as the emotions, associated with specific locales."

"On the Mojave Road" is engaging and deeply revealing collection of paintings that examine the mystery and contradictions involved in making art about the Mojave Desert. Each work builds upon another, and as you tour the exhibit, you may find yourself with new ways of exploring Mojave National Preserve places.

Emily Silver resides in Ferndale, Calif. After acquiring a degree from Stanford in Visual Design, she began painting seriously in the 1980s, eventually earning an MFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2007. Her work has enjoyed wide critical acclaim with numerous solo and group exhibits. Individuals and institutions collect her work, and she has been featured in numerous art publications.

Emily recently retired from the faculty of College of the Redwoods, after a 40-year career teaching art to college students, Nevada schoolchildren, and inmates in prison art programs in Washington, Nevada, and California. You can see more of her work at:

Information on the Kelso Depot Visitors Center:

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Exploring Black and Afro-Latinx female identity with RESPECT: gallery exhibition, workshops, and discussions

BRONX, N.Y. -- The Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education is delighted to announce the opening of "RESPECT," an exhibition celebrating Black and Afro-Latinx womanhood. The art gallery exhibition and related public programs comprise the Fall season of "CelebrARTE," Casita Maria's arts and culture event series celebrating the South Bronx community and the art it has inspired.

"RESPECT" is a multimedia exhibition that features New York-based artists Timothy Okamura, Jessica Spence, and Nichole Washington. Like much of the art displayed at Casita Maria, the exhibition examines a belief about or within the community -- here, that beauty diminishes as skin tones become darker or hair becomes kinkier -- and turns it on its head, with powerful depictions of Black women respecting themselves and loving each other.

Each artist celebrates Black womanhood in their signature style. Okamura combines his 'realist' paintings of figures with details rendered in collage, spray paint and mixed media. The exhibition will include work he created from photographs of four Casita Maria after-school program participants as well as giclee prints from his Begin Transmission and Urban Portraits series.

Jessica Spence's acrylic paintings examine Black womanhood and societal beauty ideals, focusing on the beauty and versatility of Black hair. She will also participate in a panel discussion on the politics of hair and teach a workshop on her collage methods on Saturday, September 21.

Nichole Washington's bold and imaginative works explore feminine strength, identity, and spirituality through both photography and paint. Her strong use of design, layered with symbols and expressive brush strokes, creates a multidimensional space that allows room for nuance. For anyone interested in how she creates her engaging visuals, Ms. Washington will teach a workshop on symbol-making on Saturday, October 5.

Through CelebrARTE and other public programs, Casita Maria has become a premier location for the arts and culture of the South Bronx. Creative Arts Director Gail Heidel says, "Casita Maria is a safe, welcoming space that celebrates cultural pride and honors the communities we serve by creating a resilient ecosystem of self-expression, creativity and education. Seeing themselves and their families reflected in the art we present, neighborhood youth build self-esteem and pride in themselves and their communities. Our programming and the artists we showcase are a testament to the transformative power of the arts."

Fall 2019 season of the CelebrARTE (Celebrate Yourself) series
On view at the Casita Maria Gallery September 3 - November 15, 2019

Free and open to the public
Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

* Exhibition Opening and Artist Talk: Thursday, September 19, 5:30 - 8 PM
* Panel Discussion: The Politics of Hair: Self-Love, Self-Care and Understanding, Saturday, September 21, 1-3 p.m., Moderator: Lori Tharps, Panelists Sulma Arzu-Brown, Isidra Sabio Jessica Spence, Natasha Tarpley
* Workshop: ExpresARTE/Express Yourself Through Collage, September 21, 3:30-5 PM, Artist: Jessica Spence, Workshop: ExpresARTE/Express Yourself Through Symbol Making, Saturday, October 5, 10-11:30 a.m., Artist: Nichole Washington

Book Club: One Book One Bronx. Wednesday evenings 6:30-8 PM, beginning September 11

Featured books will include: "Girl in the Mirror: Three Generations of Black Women in Motion," by Natasha Tarpley, and "Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America" by Ayana Byrd and Lori Tharps.

Learn More:

The exhibition and public programs are made possible by support from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation.

Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934. The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages.

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*Image caption: "Sore Arms" by Jessica Spence.

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Chester Charter Scholars Academy, FKA The Chester Charter School for the Arts, will graduate its first-ever senior class

CHESTER, Pa. -- Chester Charter Scholars Academy (CCSA) to Graduate 100% of First-Ever Senior Class, June 10, 2019, 1 p.m., Lang Performing Arts Center, Swarthmore College (by invitation only).

* 100% of CCSA's 45 seniors will graduate, poised to create a bright new future for themselves, their families and the Chester community.
* Every member of the class has been accepted into a post-secondary education program.

Graduates will pursue a wide range of career paths. Jahbree Ballard, who has attended CCSA since 9th grade, will enter Williamson College of the Trades. "I don't know where I would be today without my CCSA family," says Jahbree.

Saayidah Carter is headed to Swarthmore College, where she promises to tackle her academic career with the same "Sabers' spirit" that guided her through high school.

Dr. Joy Gates Black, President of Delaware County Community College, will serve as graduation speaker.

* What: CCSA to Graduate 100% of First-Ever Senior Class
* When: June 10, 2019, 1 p.m., Lang Performing Arts Center, Swarthmore College
* By invitation only
* Contact: Donna Armand,, 610-742-9032

About CCSA:
CCSA is an arts-integrated, academically rigorous, non-profit public charter school offering an exceptional educational option to children and families in Chester, one of the most under-resourced communities in America. CCSA's vision is that 100% of its students will graduate, prepared for college, conservatory, technical school, the military or gainful employment.

CCSA was founded in 2012 with 320 students in grades K-6. By adding a grade every year since then, it became a complete K-12 school in September 2019. In 2017, CCSA opened the doors to a new $30 million campus on Highland Avenue in Chester, funded in part through private donations. The beautiful facility now stands as a beacon in the community, sending a powerful message of permanence and hope to Chester's children and families.

More information:

Chester Charter Scholars Academy (CCSA), 1500 Highland Avenue, Chester, PA 19013 | 610.859.2988

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