The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center has announced "I Can See Canaan Land," the 2016 Artists of Color Exhibition, will run Jan. 22 through Feb. 21 in the Main Gallery of the NACC, 1201 Pine Ave, Niagara Falls.
Curated by Jessica Thorpe and Ray Robertson, the show will feature works by Western New York Artists and is inspired by the African-American experience from the historical, contemporary and personal perspective.
The exhibition features art by a diverse collection of artists, including Betty Pitts Foster, Cheryl Gorski, Cornelia Dohse-Peck, Dejuan Hunt, George Pagano, Michael Beam, Michele Costa, Phyllis L. Thompson, Richmond Futch Jr., Tim Maloney and Youssou Lo.
The exhibition will also feature selected art by Thorpe, selected art by Robertson, and a display of art from a private collection.
The opening event will begin at 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 22, with hors d'oeuvres provided by Artisan Café. Meet featured artists and enjoy the display. A tour of the NACC will be offered preceding the presentation of awards for best in show at 7:15 p.m. The event will end at 8 p.m.
"The NACC provides a stable annual venue for showcasing the seasoned artistic talent of the Niagara Frontier, and serves as a beacon of opportunity for young artists of color," Robertson said.
Rachel Olszewski, program director at the NACC, said the success of this exhibit in previous years prompted the NACC to expand the exhibit to include two interactive and creative events in addition to the usual opening reception. These include:
•"Call and Response," an event featuring storytelling, poetry, spoken word, a children's creativity station with several featured artists, as well as a live multimedia performance of "Butterfly Sky" by Michele Costa of theatre Figuren. This event is slated for 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6.
•Then, from 2-6 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21, the NACC, the Links: Niagara Falls NY Chapter and the African American Cultural Center team up to offer a master drummers and African dance class, followed by a performance in the gallery and on stage at the NACC. This event will also feature a preview of the NACC's permanent Underground Railroad exhibit set to open this summer in partnership with the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area.
The NACC's Kelly Buckley added, "We are really excited to celebrate African-American heritage and promote community interaction. These events allow for cultural opportunities and modes for expression not typically seen at a standard gallery exhibit.
"The NACC is the largest multi-arts center in upstate New York. This allows the NACC to host unique events - like an outstanding visual arts exhibit, paired with spoken word poetry, and a full ensemble dance troupe event, and still accommodate 300 guests in a comfortable environment.
"Niagara has a long history of welcoming visionaries, and the NACC is proud to be part of that legacy."