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2nd Floor Gallery Opening: Minnesota Black Fine Art Show

  • Austin ArtWorks Center 300 N Main St Austin MN 55912 (map)

Austin Area Arts will open the first ever exhibit of the Minnesota Black Fine Art Show. Presented in partnership with Obsidian Arts and funded by the Minnesota State Arts Board, the show will feature ten Black Minnesota artists: Eyenga Bokamba, Kprecia Ambers, Ivy Vainio, Antwon Key, Terresa Moses, Christopher E. Harrison, Carl Wesley, Theoneste Munyemana, Bill Jeter and Carla Hamilton. After showing for nine weeks in Austin, the show will continue around the state and be on view in Duluth, St. Cloud, Mankato and Minneapolis. 

The Minnesota Black Fine Art Show will open with a reception on Friday, January 11 at 5 to 7 p.m. and be available to view in the 2nd Gallery through March 23, 2019. 

The artists were chosen from a pool of applicants by a jury process. 

Eyenga Bokamba is an abstract painter and writer with a background in performance art based in Minneapolis. Among her accomplishments are four solo shows in the US and one in Italy, a Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2006 and serving as a board member on the National Performance Network/Visual Arts Network. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Bokamba says, ”The act of creating inviting, transformative, reflective spaces allows me to inhabit multiple identities in new ways, which impacts my ability to participate in the current national conversation on race, power and privilege.”

Kprecia Ambers is a fiber artist based in Minneapolis. A graduate of Concordia University, Ambers launched her own company, KPinspires, in 2016. “Focusing on home décor and surface design my work aims to celebrate Afrocentric women, empowerment, and good vibes. In hopes to represent my culture, illustrative drawings of ethnic women is created from inspirational words to aspire those who look like me to keep fighting for their dreams.”

Ivy Vainio is a photographer based in Duluth. She earned a Master of Arts in Communicating Arts from the University of Wisconsin and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Minnesota. Her photos have been shown in three solo shows, six books and are part of permanent collections at the Tweed Museum, The Depot and Cloquet Community Memorial Hospital. She won the University of Wisconsin’s system-wide Woman of Color in Higher Education Award. Vainio has been involved with multicultural affairs and American Indian/Native American studies since 1992 and her familiarity with first nations cultures informs her work. 

Antwon Key is a photographer and graphic designer based in Eagle Lake and Mankato. Key is a  Graphic Communications instructor at South Central College where he also serves on the Diversity Committee and Academic Quality Improvement (AQIP) Steering Committee. Outside of the classroom, he has been employed as a photographer and graphic designer since 2012 and won the 2018 Print Regional Design Award and will have his work published in the HOW + Print book “The Best Design of 2019.” Key earned a Master of Fine Arts from the Vermont College of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alabama. 

Terresa Moses is a painter and graphic designer based in Duluth where she also works as a Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Minnesota. Moses has a variety of creative experience including lead designer for Couture by Alana, Inc., a start up fashion company; apparel and graphic design leader for RR Designs, Co., creating licensed product on behalf of NFL, NHL, NCAA, Betty Boop, Bratz and Marvel; and freelance projects for dentists' offices, call centers, restaurants, and non-profits organizations. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Design and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Texas.

Christopher E. Harrison is a painter based in Minneapolis. He has exhibited eight solo shows and seven public art commissions in the Twin cities metro area since 2004. Harrison’s work has been published in New American Paintings: Midwest Edition 2017. A graduate of the Columbus College of Art and Design, he has a background in teaching and museum curation.  

A native and current resident of Duluth, Carla Hamilton is a mixed media artist. She attended Free KunstSchule in Stuttgart, Germany and put on a solo show in Bad Cannstat, Germany. Hamilton has also been honored with five solo shows in the upper Midwest since 2013 and three artist grants from the Arrowhead Arts Council. She is inspired by aardvarks and has reached an accord with the sun “where is was dictated that nothing can be hidden if you burn brightest.”