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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, Drék 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

Q&A with Vitus Shell

  Q&A with Vitus Shell (from Crosstown Arts newsletter, Sept. 25, 2020) Crosstown Arts residency alumnus Vitus Shell is a mixed-media collage painter born in Monroe, Louisiana, where he lives and works as a visiting assistant professor at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. His work is geared toward the Black experience, giving agency to people from this community through powerful images that deconstruct, sample, and remix identity, civil rights, and contemporary Black culture. He received a BFA from Memphis College of Art in 2000 and an MFA from the University of Mississippi in 2008. Vitus Shell has been in residence at Crosstown Arts, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Hermitage Artist Retreat, Mass MoCA, Joan Mitchell Center, Skowhegan School of Art, and Masur Museum of Art. Vitus has participated in exhibits at universities, museums, and private galleries across the country, including The McKenna Museum of African American Art, Stephen F. Austin U

Artist Vitus Shell is a force for change

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  Artist Vitus Shell is a force for change BY PATRICIA GANNON | CONTRIBUTING WRITER DEC 30, 2019 THE ACADIANA ADVOCATE Staff Photo by Leslie Westbrook Critics have long argued that all art is political, a statement and motivation for society to change. Others counter that art is simply aesthetics and medium with no ideological agenda attached. Artist Vitus Shell is straight up political. His first funded solo museum exhibition, “‘Bout it ‘Bout it, The Political Power of Just Being,” is on view at the Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum in Lafayette. The 17 portraits and one mural are painted on paper, cut out then composed on backgrounds of collages. This art has a gravitational pull that can’t be ignored. “The title came first,” said Shell. “I knew the idea I wanted to play around with.” “Bout it, ‘Bout it,” a reference to rapper Master P, means being about this thing or what the show is about. The rest, "The Political Power of Just Being," refers to looking at issu

“A New Cool,” takes on Southside Gallery

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  “A New Cool,” takes on Southside Gallery by Caroline Nihill  October 17, 2019 “Of a New Cool” is a two-person exhibition with L. Kasimu Harris and Vitus Shell that explores the South’s relationship to race, and will open at Southside Gallery on Oct. 8 and run until Nov. 2. Photo courtesy L. Kasimu Harris and Vitus Shell “Functionality and style,” is how artist L. Kasimu Harris would describe his joint exhibit, “A New Cool,” at Southside Gallery. The reception for this exhibit is tonight from 5-8 p.m. The gallery is showcasing this art until Nov. 2.  Both artists will attend the reception, and it is open to the public.  Harris is accompanied by his friend and colleague Vitus Shell for this joint exhibit. Both are visual artists from Louisiana and use the South in their art to convey their experiences as African Americans. The two met in graduate school at Ole Miss in 2005 and have been collaborating since.  Harris and Shell both use their art to address problems within their community