Exhibition Proposal

Exhibition Title:
In the Black: a visual anthology

Exhibition Concept:
The exhibit, “In the Black: a visual anthology”, honors the spiritual and cultural wealth of the people of Africa and the Diaspora while creating a dialogue around personal identity and societal representation.

The title “In the Black” is a step towards changing the narrative. Borrowing from the financial term “in the black” (positive assessment) the exhibit seeks to flip the script on misconceptions of African Americans, Africans and the Diaspora. Due to the negative affects of systematic exploitation of their natural resources, the people of Africa and the Diaspora are often viewed or projected as lacking or impoverished.

“In the Black” aims to represent the African lineage with great dignity and honor. This exhibit intends to refocus the lens on the innate wealth of the African people. Refocus the narrative to one that tells the story of the descendants: the answered prayers of ancestors while weaving connections to the Native Hawaiian values & culture.

The Paper Bag Series: God Is Here examines the artist’s identity as a Black woman residing in Hawaii. This first phase of the series focuses on black women of Hawaii from diverse life experiences sharing the bond of sisterhood through ancestry. The portraits explore the relationships of locale, heritage and impermanence as markers of personal identity. The utilitarian paper bags create a quilt telling the story of kinship, colorism, and mortality while blending the past and the present with hope for the future.

The objective of the Dibujo Nocturna series is to explore a reality where the spirit and culture of the African diaspora is revered. It is a response to the external queries of integrity and value. Within this series there is a return to innocence; Following the birth and life of an august child. How often does mainstream media convey the sanctity of the African experience? The subjects of this series continue that dialog, becoming visual representations of the love and respect necessary for today’s portrait of the African diaspora.

 

Opening Night

See entire gallery

Schedule

FIRST FRIDAY

February 2, Friday, 6 – 10pm
6pm Gallery tours with the artists
8pm Open mic featuring
Malia Connor * Ihilani Gutierrez * Serena Michel
Lyz Soto * Kiana Camara * Zen Chambers
9pm African Drum Circle
bring your drum and dancing feet!
FREE and open to all ages
Beverages by The Bar@MARKS & Trubody Bliss

CLOSING PARTY

February 24, Saturday, 7 – 11pm
Live Music & Dance Featuring:
Afro-Latin dance performance & workshop
with Jerome Mester de Trevino
Music by AFRO-CRIOLLO and Trishnalei & Friends
$10 entry, under 18 yrs FREE
Beverages by The Bar@MARKS & Trubody Bliss

Parking: FREE street parking after 6pm, $1.50/hr. before 6pm. Chinatown Municipal Parking Garages $5 flat rate after 5pm.

Sponsors: Arts at Marks, Kona Brewing Co., Lyft, BikiHI

COMMUNITY SERIES

February 10, Saturday, 1 – 3 pm
Ohana Day
FREE and open to all ages

February 15, Thursday, 6:30pm
“Besouro” Film Screening &
Discussion on Yoruba Spirituality
with Guest Speakers
Baba James Weeks & Iya Vanessa Irwin
$5 entry, under 18 yrs FREE

February 16, Friday, 6:30 – 8:30pm
Black Futures/Hawaii Futures Community Panel
with Ed Hemphill, David Goldberg &
Noelani Goodyear-Ka’opua
$5 entry, under 18 yrs FREE

February 22, Thursday, 6:30pm
MoMo Night: Community Mo’olelo &
“Talking Black in America” Film Screening
with Popolo Project’s Joy Enomoto & Akiemi Glenn
Door Donation Welcomed

Artist Statements

Residing in Hawaii since 2008 has refocused my relationship with nature and art. The concept of the sacred feminine as expressed in the natural world highly influences my artwork. Using various mediums, art is my tool for unearthing the human-nature-spirit connection. Through intuition and design, I weave together the details, real and imagined, to depict stories of the essential qualities of the living spirit. The intangible essence of life is what I attempt to capture and connect with through my art. It is my soul vision to create work that inspires. The kind of inspiration that may just one day spark a seed to grow. It is my goal to use art as a force of change and evolution so necessary for humankind.

Mark “Feijão” Milligan II
www.markmilliganart.com | contact@markmilliganart.com

Living in Hawai’i, outside of my social stereotype, forces me to continuously examine who I am as a spiritual being and what it means to be a man of the African Diaspora (of both Caribbean and Latin heritage.) This internal quandary became the impetus for choosing models of the African Diaspora living here in Hawai’i. A theme that began with my previous exhibit, Mar, and continues into my recent works. Bringing volume to the societal quiet of Afrofuturists here in Hawai’i and abroad.

Artwork

Selections from full selection