on Springfield Avenue is celebrating Black History Month in style with the art of Tesfaye Tessema and the words of Dr. Rahidah Ismaili Abubaker. The art show runs from Jan. 15 to Feb. 26, with the gallery open on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 5 p.m. There will be an exhibit-related family activity basket in the gallery during viewing hours.
CULTURAL CONNECTIONS, the art of Tesfaye Tessema
A contemporary Ethiopian artist blending the sounds and visions of his African roots with his African American branches.
Artist Reception, Sunday, January 29, 2- 6 p.m.
Tesfaye Tessema has received accolades, achieved recognition, and earned respect for his work on a national and international level for decades.
In addition to exhibiting at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, his work has been seen in France, Germany, England, and Japan. Considered a master painter as well as a master print maker and muralist, his art has been collected by such institutions as the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian in Washington and the Schomberg and the United Nations in New York City. Born in Ethiopia, he has made Harlem his home for almost thirty years; his work reflects his love for his adopted community. The visual and aural associations of the African American culture reverberate in his paintings in the "Comb Series" featured in this exhibit. The confluence of rhythm, design and colors in a personal improvisational style are a reflection of the jazz music he loves. Like African Americans artists looking for their historical roots, Tesfaye revels in searching out his branches. "Together we form a Tree".
Get in Touch: Voices and Visions with Dr. Ismaili, Feb. 12, 2012, 3-5 p.m.
In celebration of Black History Month, the focus of the exhibit "Cultural Connections" is to highlight the influences of African immigrants on African American culture. This workshop will extend that idea and encourage people to consider their own cultural identity and its influence on the American culture at large.
Surrounded by the colorful work of Tesfaye Tessema, Ismaili will start by reading her poem evoked by the paintings. The audience will be able to consider Tessema's use of the Afro hair pick as a symbol of his culture and reflect upon their own cultural icons.
Ismaili will then lead a workshop for both children and adults, starting with a reflection on the work of Tesfaye Tessema. People will be encouraged to create their own response, either writing their own experiences or illustrating them with symbols, exploring their own culture through its symbols, icons and traditions.
Ismaili arrived from Africa as a young woman and has lived in New York ever since. She has been a writer in residence in many colleges and art centers and organized university events focusing on poets and musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds. She also a small gallery in New York City — Galleria Africa — bringing new voices and visions to the New York art scene.