…of Color: The African American Experience

Posted in Exhibits, Past Exhibits

Leticia Acevedo, Queen

Leticia Acevedo, Queen

….of Color: The African American Experience

a juried exhibit

In conjunction with the Trenton African American Cultural Festival


 On display July 11 –

August 30, 2015

Opening Reception Saturday, July 11

6-7 Lenders, Artists & Members

7-9 General Public

TttGallery Talk Sunday, August 9 at 2pm


David Meadow, Poverty

David Meadow, Poverty

Beginning on July 11, 2015, works that portray the African American Experience are on display at the Trenton City Museum at Ellarslie in conjunction with the Trenton African American Cultural Festival held  in Cadwalader Park in August.  Juror Wendell Brooks selected forty-six pieces covering a range of media from watercolor to bronze created by twenty-seven artists residing in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and New York.

Each piece is accompanied by a statement from the artist that explains how the work interprets the show’s theme.  Some works explore the African Americans’ feelings of invisibility in today’s society.  Do we really see what is before our eyes? The artist helps the viewer to focus on what’s important. As Trenton artist Siri Om Singh says when describing his work, Shaman Mystic, “Growing up a man of color in America created experiences of anger, loss of identity and being marginalized. This led me to a search for mystical healing within myself. Taking a stand for my own personal power was a magical, healing experience.”

Other works explore African Americans’ delight in sheer physicality, whether it’s through dance, performing music, or performing feats of athleticism.  What the viewer sees and experiences is a poignant joy in the individuals being depicted. In describing her work, Danni Dancing, Diane Greenberg says, “Our culture, dance, and music have been enriched and heavily influenced by African Americans. The contributions of African Americans are what make our dance and music uniquely ‘American’ and different from any other country on earth.”

Elijah Sabree, Queen

Elijah Sabree, Queen

Many works highlight the universality of human experience, whether we are talking about the strength of a humble farmer, the wisdom of women, the boredom of a street vendor, or the shy smile of a woman being photographed, the viewer is struck by the dignity captured in each image. Kali McMillan explains that she identified with the young woman in her photograph, Girl with Tray of Treats, and that the resulting experience was “most powerful for me when I was able to interact with girls of my own age.”


Juror — Wendell Brooks

Wendell Brooks, professor emeritus at the College of New Jersey, first explored the African American Experience while visiting Alabama as a young man. As a printmaker, his early work reflects the newly found black pride of the era and the understanding for black Americans to take charge of their own representation. Brooks’ later work is a celebration of life, culture and personal strength.

A longtime resident of Trenton/Ewing, he holds a BA in Art Education and MFA in printmaking from Indiana University. His prints are in the permanent collection at the Library of Congress, the National Collection of Fine Arts at the Smithsonian Institution and The College of New Jersey, among others.

The curators, Carol Hill and Carolyn Stetson, have curated a number of shows at Ellarslie, separately and together, and are members of the Trenton Museum Society Exhibits Committee.

The public is invited to the opening reception on Saturday, July 11 from 7-9 pm. Artists in the exhibit will discuss their work at a Gallery Talk on August 9, 2015 at 2 pm.


Read Janet Purcell’s enthusiastic review in the Times.

Read Aubrey J. Kauffman’s insightful review in the U.S. 1 Newspaper.

Listing on the Black Art Projects Blog.

Read Ilene Dube’s comprehensive review on Newsworks, an online magazine hosted by WHYY.

On display:

First Last Title
Leticia Acevedo Queen
Leticia Acevedo Family Prayer
Leticia Acevedo Floetic Dancers
Christopher Bosse Jazz Sax
Zenna Broomer US-A-Team
Brendon Connors Obama Aint
Karey Maurice Counts Drop Box 2014
Karey Maurice Counts Lunch Box 2014
Nicola Dalbenzio American Hero
Nicola Dalbenzio Provide with Pride
Joseph Dougherty In the Round
Joseph Dougherty Profile of Determination
Susan Esbensen Beauty and the Beholder
Terry Freemark Kimberly McCarthy Death Row
Terry Freemark Street Musician
Terry Freemark Walking Tall
Diane Greenberg Danni Dancing
Kathleen Liao Breakdown of a Dream: Homage to LangstonHughes and his poem, Harlem
So Yoon Lym Angel
So Yoon Lym The Dreamtime Poster
Kali McMillan Girl with Tray of Treats
Kali McMillan Girl Observed
Kali McMillan He Wants You
David Meadow Poverty
David Meadow Farming
Maria Mijares Horseback Police
Pearl Mintzer Dance Electric
Gail Mitchell Freedom Summer Quilt
Dennis Normile Kids
Deborah Pey Women of Wisdom
Deborah Pey Deliver Me
Deborah Pey Jazzman
John Picolli Freedom Dreamer
John Picolli Universal Soldier
John Picolli Snow Runner
Elijah Sabree Queen
Khalilah Sabrfee Silent Observation
Nancy Scott The Alley
Prudence Shapcott Voices
Prudence Shapcott Transformation
Craig Shofed Extra
Siri Om Singh Hobo
Siri Om Singh Shaman Mystic
Siri Om Singh Trendsetters
Holly Williams Liberation Is
Holly Williams Let My People Go