Jan 8 to Feb 19, 2022
Reception: Sat, Jan 29, 2:00 PM
Link will be posted closer to January 29 Exhibits
Free Soil Arts Collective website: freesoilarts.org
In partnership with the Free Soil Arts Collective, “BIPOC Artists at the Brush” will be on display from January 8 to February 19, 2022. The Free Soil Arts Collective’s mission is to create opportunities for BIPOC artists in the Merrimack Valley to invest in their craft, develop new work, and share with the public in the place they call home. “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Brush Art Gallery & Studios to provide a platform for such talented, local artists of color in our community.” said Free Soil Arts Collective Founder & Artistic Director, Christa Brown.
The main gallery will feature work from Sam Stevquoah, Angelica Brown, Chummeng Soun, Rita Tinega, Gwendolyn Lanier, Veronica Homes, Raksha Soni, Darius Kirksey-Lanier, and Henry Marte.
Sam Stevquoah is the founder and owner of Active Fantasy Productions where he leads a team of writers, animators, illustrators, and visionaries who specialize in unparalleled storytelling and concept development.
Angelica Brown: “As a child, I was first inspired by Picasso. Abstract art was a foreign concept to me at the time. I then began to paint. To this day whenever I paint, I feel as though I’m pouring my soul onto a canvas. It’s exhilarating…”
Chummeng Soun: “The second-largest community of Cambodian Americans is in Lowell, Massachusetts. Maintaining cultural heritage has been key to strengthening a sense of belonging across generations. Yet many young Cambodian Americans have never been to Cambodia and follow other global trends. How can Cambodian Americans reclaim histories and memories, while also creating new cultural pathways? How do Cambodians manifest shared beliefs that fully examine sensitive truths in history? How can we confront the role of cultural institutions, collectives, and museums in framing these narratives that shape the Cambodian American consciousness?”
Rita Tinega is a professional photographer. Born in Kenya, raised in Lowell, Massachusetts, she is the Founder and Editor in Chief of VisualMag, a local publication dedicated to fashion, photography, art, music, and literature. Her magazine has encouraged and inspired dozens of aspiring local and international artists. Tinega’s vision is a combination of a passionate heart with an innovative mindset. This series is name My Home, where I was able to capture who I am and where I come from, two tribes: Kikuyu and Kisii.
Gwendolyn Lanier is a visual artist based in Lowell Massachusetts who creates sublime figurative art depicting the divine female experience and form through narratives that challenge the preconceived notions of reality. In 2009, Lanier received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of the Fine Arts/ Tufts University in Boston. Lanier was the recipient of the 2009 Albert Pratt Traveling Grant which enabled her to study ceramic figurative Art in Florence, Italy.
Veronica Holmes: is a self taught artist, writer, photographer, poet and storyteller born in Kingston Jamaica. Veronica immigrated to the US in 1979 as a teenager where she attended Kolbe Cathedral and moved to Dorchester MA after graduating high school.
Raksha Soni: “Art is a foundational part of my life, and I try to spend my free time experimenting with it. I express my gratitude, emotions, and admiration for nature and Mother Earth through color. My inspiration comes from the many sources: places I travel to, nature, architecture, city life, folk art, Indian culture, and the people around me. I love to capture special moments with various mediums. The creative process gives me tremendous joy, satisfaction, and a sense of great accomplishment, and I hope this beautiful journey of self-discovery continues forever.” Darius Kirksey-Lanier: “I am a digital photographer based in Lowell. When I take photos, it's less about what my eyes see. I capture what my soul feels then transform the image digitally to produce a poetry of shapes and colors.”
Henry Marte: “I'm a photographer, filmmaker, and content creator based here in Lowell. I recently photographed the portraits for Free Soil Arts Collective’s Hidden in Plain Sight book and exhibit at the Lowell National Park Visitor Center. Apart from photographing portraits, I'm a big landscape and adventure photographer as well. This past summer, I planned and executed a photo expedition to Iceland. Here are some of my photographs from the land of fire and ice, I hope you enjoy them.”
Free Soil Arts Collective Statement: Our goals are to provide a platform for antiracism, equitable funding, and structural support for culturally-specific artists and performance groups in Lowell and the surrounding areas.
Through our arts and culture programs, we create paid opportunities for underexplored artists of color, and galvanize the Greater Lowell community to commune around and celebrate BIPOC lives.
We develop curated opportunities for our community to celebrate the history, culture, and arts of persons of color.
Image: “Kenya” photography and design by Rita Tinega