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Art Center Sarasota's New Exhibitions Cycle Includes Work by Artist Vitus Shell

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  Pictured: Vitus Shell Studio Portrait. Photo courtesy of Art Center Sarasota. Art Center Sarasota’s 2021 exhibition season continues with four exhibits, January 27-March 5. Vitus Shell: “31 Flavors” features large-scale, mixed-media works exploring the Black experience by the Louisiana-based artist Vitus Shell. JAVO: “Revisited” feautures intricate works on canvas that explore the beauty and tragedy of culture-making within the native Puerto Rican’s adopted society. In the juried exhibition, “Visions in Black,” Art Center Sarasota partners with the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative to showcase the works of local art students alongside works by seasoned artists of African descent. The “Visions in Black” exhibit is sponsored, in part, by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation. “Anything Goes” is a juried exhibition of artwork spanning a range of mediums, including paintings, drawings, photography and sculpture. The opening reception for all four exhibits is Thursday, January 27, 6-8 p.m.

Louisianian of the Year | Artist

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  Monroe artist Vitus Shell is a remarkable artist who explores the African-American experience through strong, compelling and often unsettling images of Black contemporary life in America. It is art driven by irony, activism and his notion of Black “coolness.” Monroe artist Vitus Shell is a remarkable artist who explores the African-American experience through strong, compelling and often unsettling images of Black contemporary life in America. It is art driven by irony, activism and his notion of Black “coolness.” Born in Monroe in 1978, Shell, who has taught art at the University of Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University, holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the Memphis College of Art where he and other artists formed a collective that launched his career and those of other African-American artists. “My paintings,” says Shell, “are geared toward the Black experience, giving agency to people from this community through powerful image deconstru

BLACK CREATIVE CIRCLE

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  BLACK CREATIVE CIRCLE Article by STARLA GATSON | Photography by JERON STRICKLAND | STRICKLY US  Black female politician and author Shirley Chisholm once declared, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” The Congresswoman’s guidance has been echoed and shared countless times over the decades, encouraging many to  show up in spaces  they or others like them have not previously occupied. But what is one to do when the table for which he is looking doesn’t yet exist? Why, he takes a cue from the  Black Creative Circle of North Louisiana  (BCCNL) and builds it himself! The BCCNL was created to give local black creators a place to show up and show their work, be empowered, and inspire one another, filling a need the organization’s vice president, K’Shana Hall-Davis, noticed fairly quickly. “When I went to certain events in the area, I never really saw anyone that looked like me as the artist,” she explained before adding, “I’m not saying it didn’t exist; I’m ju
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  The Masur Museum of Art Presents: Many Rooms: The South Got Something to Say The Black Creatives Circle of North Louisiana presents: K’shana Hall-Davis, DrĂ©k Davis, Benicia King, and Vitus Shell Exhibition on View through November 6, 2021 Public Reception: Thursday, September 16, 5:30 – 7:30 pm Artist’s Talks: 6:00 pm Masur Museum of Art 1400 South Grand Street This exhibition showcases the work of members of the Black Creatives Circle of North Louisiana.   The BCCNL is a service organization focusing on increasing the connection and visibility of Black creatives within North Louisiana. The exhibition will represent various themes from each individual artist, which collectively derives inspiration from the Biblical scripture John 14:2, “There are many rooms in my father’s house.” Each room entwines with each other distinguishing the multiple conversations that are being held yet concealed within the South. Each artist will do a brief talk about their work starting at 6:00. This event

A Little Ratchet at TONE Memphis

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A Little Ratchet Into every season there is a public and private discussion of what is an acceptable of presentation Blackness. A Black actress and comedian takes to the internet to decry Black women in hair bonnets in public and pleads with them to have more respect for themselves. Academics have conducted many studies that show that candidates with “Black-sounding names” are less likely to be interviewed for jobs with all other factors being equal. White social media influencers participate in “blackfishing” by assuming the features of Black women through filters or surgery to get the look with none of the burden of Blackness. The debate on sagging pants is still alive and well after decades of debate. Now that Hip-Hop culture is pervasive, the arguments over Black images has new language. Whatever leans a little too far over the sign of what is coded respectable is often deemed ratchet. Like the ratchet wrench that loosens and tightens, what is considered ratchet morphs and changes1

Fresh A.I.R. Gallery presents Coping Mechanisms

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No Ceilings Lecture with LSU

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  Artist Vitus Shell will give virtual lecture  No Ceilings  to the LSU School of Art on Wednesday, January 20, at 5 p.m. via Zoom. Vitus Shell’s paintings encompass a depth and intensity usually displayed in the work of artists far past his age. While a student at MCA, the Monroe, La., native traveled and learned more about different cultures and art forms. He attended the National Black Fine Arts Show in 1999 for the first time and received a first hand view of the inner workings of the art world. Other artists he met while at MCA who have continuously inspired him include Brenda Joysmith, George Hunt, and Alonzo Davis. To date, he has accumulated an impressive list of achievements, some of which include: participating in exhibits at universities, museums, and private galleries across the country; painting a mural for the National Civil Rights Museum’s NBA Pioneers exhibit; and being commissioned to do public art by the Memphis UrbanArt Commission. Opportunities for Shell continue to