A FOOTHOLD ON THE ROCKS: THE INDELIBLE LEGACIES OF JACOB AND GWENDOLYN KNIGHT LAWRENCE
Equity Gallery and Harlem Arts Festival are pleased to announce A FOOTHOLD ON THE ROCKS: THE INDELIBLE LEGACIES OF JACOB AND GWENDOLYN KNIGHT LAWRENCE, a group exhibition of new work that reflects the enduring artistic legacies of Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence. The exhibition features mixed media, paintings, prints, textile, sculpture, and film.
Throughout the 20th century, Harlem has been regarded as the symbolic mecca for Black American artistic production, culture, and activism. Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence are two icons whose work holds an important space in the landscape of Harlem artists, and whose philanthropy gave rise to many more. Raised in Harlem, Jacob Lawrence’s early work documents scenes of Harlem life – people, storefronts, brownstones and more. Early paintings also depict his immediate surroundings, including his family, home and studio. Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence was born in Barbados and moved to Harlem in her youth. She studied Fine Arts and worked for the Works Projects Administration (WPA), assisting in various artists’ projects, including Charles Alston’s mural in the Children’s Ward of Harlem Hospital.
Today, Harlem is internationally known through the widespread nostalgia for its past. Contemporary artists living, working, creating, and inspired by Harlem continue to engage and document its complex living legacy. This collaboration by two non-profit arts organizations aims to highlight the indelible contribution of the Lawrences to the arts and the Harlem community by presenting original works from artists engaging their memory or aesthetic.
In keeping with the Lawrences’ influence, Tania L. Balan-Gaubert, Tiffany Latrice, and Christian Padron explore the use of narrative to document and preserve historical memory, celebrate identity and engage with cultural representation.
Danielle Friedman, Freida Hoyett, Lance Johnson, and Bryce Zackery investigate figuration, graphic forms, subjective perspective and critical realism, important aspects of the Lawrences’ works.
Shannon Berry and David Vades Joseph’s work explore gentrification, space and community in Harlem and the Lower East Side.
Admission to the Opening is free with RSVP. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11am-6pm.
New York Artists Equity Association, Inc.
New York Artists Equity Association, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1947 by artists and art patrons with the mission to promote opportunities for artists. It operates Equity Gallery, an art space located on the Lower East Side of New York City. For more information, please visit www.nyartistsequity.org.
Harlem Arts Festival
Harlem Arts Festival is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization co-founded in 2010 by three young arts entrepreneurs living in Harlem. Now in its fifth season, HAF presents multi-disciplinary performances in venues throughout Harlem, culminating in an annual festival that takes place in Marcus Garvey Park at the Richard Rodgers amphitheater. The performances showcase local performers and visual artists that inspire and nourish the artistic community in Harlem. The festival aims to promote arts education and literacy by implementing arts-related discussion forums, educational workshops, performance opportunities and activities for youth and family. The goal of HAF is to fuel the cultural and artistic prosperity of its neighborhood.] For more information, please visit www.harlemartsfestival.com.
Image: Bryce Zackery, America III, 2015, Building materials, old wood, railroad spikes, car parts and other detritus, © Bryce Zackery.