NB Black Artists Alliance hopes to inspire with the latest exhibition

Sydona Chandon's photography is part of the latest exhibition at the Gallery on Queen.  (Submitted by Sydona Chandon - photo credit)

Sydona Chandon’s photography is part of the latest exhibition at the Gallery on Queen. (Submitted by Sydona Chandon – photo credit)

Aiming to further promote black art in the gallery spaces, the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance is exhibiting a number of member works at downtown Fredericton’s Gallery on Queen.

Under the title “DisporART: Exempt! Accepted?” The exhibition includes works by artists Gary Weekes, Sydona Chandon, Karrie Nash, Chris Thomas and Daniel Leek.

The mixed media art exhibition kicked off Friday and will be on view at the gallery through March 3.

The photographer Sydona Chandon is part of the exhibition and, as a black artist, explained to her the importance of the subject.

“It really speaks to the fact that a lot of black artists didn’t have the space to showcase their work many years ago,” Chandon said.

“It gives artists a chance to really sit down and think, how are we really being accepted into these spaces now and how far have we come to get to this place?”

Submitted by Sydona Chandon/Work of Art Photography

Submitted by Sydona Chandon/Work of Art Photography

Chandon is showing a conceptual photo series entitled “aRose from the Concrete” which she believes represents the grace and poise of women who have risen through life’s adversities, symbolized by the roses, while still bearing scars from their birth .

“That’s what I’m trying to show here,” she said. “That you can rise above your obstacles and become even greater, and influence those around you to do the same.”

Chandon was delighted with the work of the other artists in the exhibition, and she noted that a variety of different skills and mediums are on display.

Saint John-based artist Daniel Leek has two large acrylic paintings on display.

He said he doesn’t like to limit himself to one medium, instead typically experimenting with charcoal drawing, acrylic and sculpture.

Leek described himself as a “born sketch artist” who has only recently begun to publicly share his art beyond commissioned drawings.

CLOCK | The exhibition includes black art in gallery spaces:

He said he didn’t have many role models in the art world growing up, but he hopes he can be that for other young artists.

“There’s not a lot of representation for artists of color,” Leek said. “We’re very underrepresented in a lot of galleries.”

“So I think it comes down to being exposed, just being seen. The more we are seen, the more we influence the people who come behind us.”

Freelance photographer and visual artist Gary Weekes is also featured in the exhibition. He said he would like welcoming and outreach to Black artists in New Brunswick to expand beyond the month of February.

Submitted by Nadia Khoury

Submitted by Nadia Khoury

“What we want to do is bring everyone downstairs and invite them in, to make them feel like black artwork isn’t just for the month of February, we’re welcome in these spaces year-round,” Weekes said.

From the photograph to a large piece made out of Lego, Nadia Khoury, director of the Gallery on Queen, said it was a very unique work that made her feel good.

The show takes up about half of the downtown gallery, and Khoury said she is proud to host the New Brunswick Black Artists Alliance show every year.

“We love to celebrate New Brunswick’s black artists and one of our mandates is to be inclusive and empower minorities in the province,” Khoury said.


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