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Tri-Site Winter Exhibit: Abstract Black

Updated: Apr 9, 2022

We're excited to offer a tri-site multi-artist show this winter of works by local African Diaspora artists to take place at our gallery inside Paper City Clothing Company, at 50 Arrow Gallery at Eastworks in Easthampton, and at The Ethnic Study in downtown Springfield.

The gallery has been open to the public every Tuesday 4-7pm and Saturday 11am-2pm from February 18, 2022 through April 9, 2022. Open hours for the remainder of April will be limited to by appointment only due to staffing limitations.

Closing reception set for Friday, April 29, 2022 from 5-8pm - more info by clicking here!

We are humbled and excited to share the lineup for our own 2000 square foot mill gallery space: Wane One, Dr. Imo Nse Ime, Kiayani Douglas, Cathi Burton, Kamil Peters, Justin Beatty, Chelvanaya Gabriel, and Osmar Ramos-Caballero. Scroll down for these artist bios, and visit 50 Arrow Gallery and The Ethnic Study to learn about the artists and open hours at our partner locations.

Please plan to wear a mask and social distance whenever visiting us at the gallery.

We are grateful to generous support from the MassDevelopment TDI Creative Catalyst Grant Program which makes this work possible at Paper City Clothing Company.

Dr. Imo Nse Imeh I am a Nigerian-American studio artist and a scholar of African Diaspora art history. I leverage my practice of visual art and research in art history to investigate historical and philosophical issues around the black body and cultural identity. My areas of interest involve historical investigations to highlight current situations of American racial unfairness, while offering the deceased victims of these injustices a voice through my art, and a seat at the table of commemoration. My goal as an artist is to simplify the larger problematic structures of inequality in society, in an effort to inspire new ways of framing history, offer a new and humanizing lens through which we can collectively understand and mourn the victims of an unjust society, and provide opportunities for discussion and reconciliation.

Kiayani Douglas is an interdisciplinary portrait artist who uses ceramics, painting, drawing, and installation to curate conversations rooted in race, history, and privilege. STCC has recently added a piece of hers to their permanent collection with the hopes to encourage their student body to continue the conversation. Douglas uses batik-inspired patterns and portraits as her main way to engage people in the hidden narratives in her work. Using symbols of the African Diaspora and black liberation she pays homage to The Black Panther Party's 10 point Program. Douglas gets most of her inspiration from the artwork of Emory Douglas and his role as the BPP Minister of Culture. She currently lives and works in Wilbraham Mass, where she teaches ceramics and studio art to high school-aged students. Douglas is constantly finding ways to engage individuals into brave conversations around race, history, and privilege through her art as an artist and educator.

Kamil Peters is a contemporary metal artist working out of Ludlow, MA. With roots in Texas and Western Massachusetts. His work encompasses a wide range of expression, from intricate mask work to large-scale commercial installations. Peters evokes glimpses of the past with a distinctly modern edge, his work lures you into his interpretations of the natural world; allowing his environment to play a key role in how his work is expressed.

Chelvanaya Gabriel My work is a reflection of empathic, ecological and metaphysical perspectives on the nature of humanity & consciousness, complexities of identity & power, and intergenerational trauma & resiliency. Woven throughout are my experiences as a scientist, healer, educator, writer, community organizer & social justice facilitator.

Justin Beatty was the featured artist for the Grand Opening of the Artesana youth Studio and his artwork has been featured in the Town of Athol's “Windows on Main” exhibit, and the “Indigenous Voices Project”. Currently, some of his work is displayed on the Karuna Center for Peacebuilding's “Decolonzing Curricula Resources” website, and was recently hired as the Native American Community Liaison for the Western Massachusetts ArtsHub website. Outside of the art world, Justin is the founder and Powwow Committee Chairperson of the Odenong Powwow. He is a well-know powwow emcee and powwow singer. He is also the drum keeper and lead singer for Urban Thunder, an intertribal powwow drum group currently based here in Western Mass.

Catherine I am a local artist residing in Springfield. I have always had a brush or pencil in my hand creating something on paper or canvas. Growing up as a African American girl in a family of Artist, I gravitate toward “colorful paintings” because our household was so full of life and color. I have no boundaries that lock me into one form of art and that is what allows me to be creative whether it’s abstract, figurative or expressive. I strive to make my art as diverse as we are individually.

Wane One was born in the West London and lived in England and Grenada until he was seven. In 1978, his parents brought him and his brother to the U.S. and moved to the North Bronx. In 1983, Wayne became “Wane One” when he painted his first train. Since then he’s created logos for hip-hop groups like Gangstarr, Jeru the Damager, and Group Home and designed for brands like Sean John Menswear, Nike, and Reebok. He divides his time between painting and running his company, Writers Bench.

Osmar Ramos-Caballero Born in Cuba, and raised in Spain, through out his travels he has noticed the lack of Latino and Afro-Latino representation in the world but specifically in comics, superhero TV shows and movies. His mission to rectify that problem and bring new role models that can connect to the new generation of comic book readers by bringing Spanish based comics to EVERYONE, Spanish speakers or not. After years of research and creating his own characters, Osmar is finally ready to bring them to life with his company Gala Comics.

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