The Black History Art Walk held an opening reception at the Building Bridges Art Exchange Gallery at the Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, California this past weekend, Feb. 19. The event exhibited artwork from multimedia artist Chelle Barbour, as well as a live performance by Lorinda Hawkins Smith, with a section of artwork by local school children.
Marisa Caichiolo welcomed the community audience to the reception and art walk, an effort of the City’s Black History Month Committee and in collaboration with the Quinn Research Center. Caichiolo is the establishing creator of Building Arts Exchange Gallery.
Featured artist, Chelle Barbour, introduced herself and shared the meaning behind her collage artwork on display before Lorinda Hawkins Smith portrayed Biddy Mason for the audience. Through poetry and story, Lorinda Hawkins Smith delivered a powerful and insightful performance, highlighting the contributions that Biddy Mason made to Black health and wellness. Community member Charles Reese described the event as “a great day of art, culture, and fellowship”. Miss Davis by Malia Kabwe, is also featured in the exhibit along with artwork drawn, created, and written by local school children from Santa Monica Highschool, Sycamore Highschool, and Saint Anne School.
Rose Gallery also opened a new exhibition this week for What Are You Leaving Behind with a reception for the artist Legohang Kganye, featuring photographs from her series Ke Lefa Laka: Her-story. During the exhibition, Kganye shared details of her trips around South Africa, where she traces her “ancestral roots”. In the small group were Rose Shoshana, the owner of Rose Gallery, as well as artist Jo Ann Callis, and artist Manfred Müller. Legohang Kganye described inserting herself into her mother’s “pictorial narrative. This was my way of marrying the two memories (mine and my mother). The Rose gallery shared that Kganye’s series “stems from confronting grief from the loss of her mother while maintaining a connection to her and generational history. The title translates to ‘it’s my legacy’ in Sesotho. Kganye said, “That work just came on its own, somehow it gave birth to itself through me.’”