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Founder's Exhibition
Works from the private collection of Dr. Dwight McKenna
Shootout: Lonely Crusade... A Homage to Jamal Shabazz
Curator: Shantrell P. Lewis, Russel K. Frederick
Organizer: Laylah Amatullah Barrayn
Community Partner: PHOTONola

Featuring exclusive work from 25 contemporary photographers: Phil Asbury (Philly), Laylah Amatullah Barrayn (NYC), Betty Bastidas (NYC/S.F), Delphine Fawundu-Buford (NYC), Malik Yusef Cumbo (NYC), Karina Dafeamekpor (GHANA), Shawn Escoffery (NYC/NOLA), Kerika Fields (NYC), Don Fela Ford (Philly) , Dreama Goldsmith (NOLA), Ava Griffiths (JAMAICA), Akintola Hanif (NYC) , Ayana V. Jackson (NJ),Terrence Jennings (NYC), Nsenga Knight (NYC), Jati Lindsay (DC), Ezra Mabengeza (S. AFRICA), Marissa Weekes- Mason (NJ), Radcliffe Roye (JAMAICA), Terrence Sanders (NOLA), Ayo Y. Scott (NOLA), Bayete Ross-Smith (NYC/S.F.), Noelle Theard (HAITI/Miami), Vernell Thomas (NOLA), Amanda Williams (S.F).


For the past 30 years, Dr. Dwight McKenna has been collecting precious pieces of fine art that capture the African-American experience. His collection includes works by African-American fine arts masters such as Henry Ossawa Tanner, William Edouard Scott, Hale Woodruff and Clementine Hunter. The collection includes popular contemporary artists such as Ernie Barnes, Annie Lee and Tim Hinton. While some of the artists are based in cities throughout the U.S., others boast of Haitian roots, including the brilliant Ulrich Jean Pierre and innovative Vidho Lorville. 

The bulk of the collection are paintings expressed in oil on canvas and water colors. Other items were created in various mediums ranging from wood to toothpick sculptures. Themes reflecting everyday people in the community, military life of African American soldiers, portraits, New Orleans culture and the Haitian revolution are prominently displayed.



















Standing with Papa Legba: The Intersection of Comtemporary Haitian Art
May 24th - June 11th 2008

The exhibition featured the work of Vidho Lorville, Ulrick Jean-Pierre, Georges Valris, Eric P. Julien and the late Perrot Barra. In both Haitian Vodou and New Orleans Voodoo, Papa Legba is the deity that presides over the crossroads and intersections of life. It is here at the crossroads that we find contemporary Haitian artists confronted with the past and future of Haitian Art. Centered in four major themes – spirituality, history and politics, contemporary life, and “wonder-realism,” this exhibition is told from a first-person narrative. The exhibition was a celebration of the visual arts traditions of Haiti and an attempt to de-mystify this culture and situate Haitian art in a contemporary context. 

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