Zenith Gallery Presents
Black Like Me
January 16 – April 22, 2023
Meet the Artists Reception: Wednesday February 15, 2023, 4-8 pm
RSVP on Eventbrite
At 1111 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington DC 20004
Featuring Artists: Wesley Clark, Julee Dickerson Thompson, Bulsby “Buzz” Duncan, Francine Haskins, Claudia Gibson-Hunter, Carolyn Goodridge, Bernie Houston, Hubert Jackson, Chris Malone, Kristine Mays, Ibou N’Diaye, and Curtis Woody.
A Song for my Mother by Julee Dickerson-Thompson When Cranes Root by Claudia Gibson-Hunter I See you Here & Forever by Wesley Clark
Listen Up Chuck by Bulsby Duncan Vieux Dogon by Ibou N’Diaye American Saga by Hubert Jackson
Wesley Clark’s work challenges and draw parallels between historical and contemporary cultural issues. His primary focus surrounds blacks in America and the African Diaspora. He examines the psyche of young black males feeling like a target and being targeted. Clark questions tradition or the lack of tradition and the role it plays on one’s values today. Objects that are antiques or antiqued are associated with historical relevance and wealth. By placing these issues in an antiqued object, he established the value in furthering a discussion around a particular issue. Analyzing historic and present social and economic disparities are what shape Clark’s conceptual process.
Julee Dickerson-Thompson is a multi-media artist. Her work ranges from painting & soft sculpture/fiber into public art and illustration. Julee is noted for a unique, stylized approach to line drawing that becomes characteristic of her work in all forms of media. “A spiritual momentum is ever present as I explore the Creator’s metaphors by allowing myself to become a vessel for my work. It is a moment of sweet surrender when I can truly open my pores and allow my soul to be guided spontaneously by painting my libations.” Her goal is “to nourish and delight…the eye…the soul…the Spirit!”
Bulsby Duncan born in Kingston, Jamaica and raised in Washington, DC. Buzz is a self-taught artist whose work can be described as deeply emotional and filled with energy. Buzz traces his artistic influence on the great abstract expressionists, and contemporary artists of the 20th Century. Duncan was our first-place winner from our RESIST exhibit in 2017! Duncan’s work is inherently filled with emotional energy, from his abstract pieces to his graffiti style paintings. He addresses social issues such as police brutality with symbols referring to Eric Garner and Trayvon Martin, mass incarceration, and gun violence with paying homage to one of the greatest graffiti painters, Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Francine Haskins is a mix-media fiber artist, doll maker, quilter, author/illustrator, teacher and storyteller. A Corcoran School of Art graduate who also trained at Catholic University in oil painting and the Smithsonian Associate Program in fabric design, Haskins began her art career at “The New Thing” Art and Architecture center as a graphic artist. She has participated in artists’ trade shows including: Black Memorabilia and Doll Shows, to the great Black Arts Festival in Atlanta Georgia, and the Smithsonian’s Folklife festival. Francine has exhibited widely in museums and galleries across the United States and has been a part of numerous panels on folk art and folklore. One the founding members of the legendary 1800 Belmont Arts (Arts collective), Haskins is renowned for her quilts, her soft sculpture dolls.
Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter is a mixed media artist that combines painting, printmaking, collage and assemblage in her work. She investigates themes of identity, agency, and memory using acrylic paint, ink, and colored pencil. Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Aziza graduated from Temple University, (BS), and received her MFA from Howard University. Ms. Gibson-Hunter has been awarded the Individual Artist Fellowship Program Grant, from the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities numerous times. Her work can be found in the collections of the Washington DC Art Bank, the US Embassies in Liberia, and Togo, as well as the collections of Montgomery County Maryland, the National Institutes of Health, and the Boston Children’s Hospital. She has created public works for Washington DC through the Department of General Services. These works, The Wall of Unity (2017) and, ANCESTORS, (2019) are both located in Washington, DC public schools. Ms. Gibson-Hunter is a member of the Black female collectives, Dandelion Black, and WOAUA. She is a co-founding member of Black Artists of DC and has a studio located within the STABLE art complex in Washington, DC.
The Empath by Francine Haskins Lava Light by Carolyn Goodridge Seeking Balance by Kristine Mays
Mardi Gras by Bernie Houston Thoughts of a Place I’ve Never Known by Chris Malone The Quiltmaker’s Daughter by Curtis Woody
Carolyn Goodridge, born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies and immigrated to the U.S. in 1963. Goodridge was brought up in a Pentecostal environment and later became widely read in Eastern philosophies. She landed in the Kwan Um School of Zen, residing at their Chogye International Zen Center in New York by age 19. The late Zen Master Seung Sahn Sunim taught the artist about “Zen mind.” Her artwork is broadly inspired by these teachings. Goodridge states: “The materials used in my work are organic: melted beeswax with natural pigments, resin made of sap from Malaysian fir trees, rice paper, wood and sometimes glass. Using encaustic, I enjoy contrasting, not only organic and geometrical shapes, but also smooth and rough texture, as well as dull and shiny reflective surfaces.
Bernie Houston graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design in 1984 and has been a driftwood sculptor ever since. Houston spends his time on the Chesapeake, finding that perfect piece of driftwood for his carefully composed sculptures. Each piece is shaped by nature and inspired from its natural structure. After visualizing each driftwood piece, he cures, sands, carves, paints and polishes each creation. He sculpts everything from animals to people to objects. Because nature does not mimic itself, his entire body of work is one-of-a-kind. There is not a single piece like it on the planet
Hubert Jackson was born in Culpeper, Virginia. After graduating from Virginia State University, he moved to Washington D.C in 1971 and earned his MA in painting from Howard University. In the early 1970s, he participated in the historical national movement of community-based mural projects under the advisement and mentorship of master artist Hughie Lee-Smith. Jackson’s work is in a number of private collections throughout the U.S. and has been shown in foreign countries such as Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Lesotho, New Guinea and Rwanda through the Artist-in-Embassies Program, run by the U.S. Department of State
Chris Malone is a self-taught artist who asks us to move past seeing dolls as just playthings for children, but rather as spiritual objects, capable of inspiring deep thoughts and heady visions in balance with our imaginations and our dreaming state. He believes that how far you take this interpretation of the capability of his dolls is up to you. In his words: “From the beginning of recorded time, all over the world, people have been making dolls. Dolls have been children’s playthings and have also been used to bridge the gap between our physical world and the spiritual realm…. Like most traditions… there’s so much more to the story (once you dig a little deeper).”
Kristine Mays, a San Francisco native has been an exhibiting artist since 1993. She was the Grand Finale Winner in 2015 of the 5th Annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series National Competition. Seeking to create impact and change with her art, Kristine has participated in raising thousands of dollars for AIDS research through the sale of her work by collaborating with organizations like Visual Aid, the San Francisco Alliance Health Project and WE-Actx. Mays’ art is formed from hundreds of individual pieces of wire and has developed a way of expressing the human form through wire.
Ibou N’Diaye is a traditional Malian sculptor. He comes from a region in Mali known as “Dogon Country” which is known as a center for African Sculpture. He learned to sculpt using traditional tools such as hatchets, chisels, files and adzes. He prefers to work with very hard woods, such as ebony and mahogany. Ibou combines both modern and traditional imagery in his sculptures
Curtis Woody refers to his artworks as “mixed media quilt paintings.’ Woody’s mixed media quilt paintings start with hand cut museum board blocks that are painted, embellished, scratched, and merged to form extremely well-composed, thought-provoking collages that are not terribly pre-planned, but rather, let the feelings and emotions of the overall design dictate how each block fits together. Woody allows the colors, patterns, and textures to direct these compositions. Many of his pieces include replicas of vintage newspaper advertisement, newspaper articles, or photographs – all included because they accentuate the composition, while adding a symbolic richness to the work. The result is a work that strikes the balance between spontaneity and a carefully planned composition of historical relevance.