Last week ended on a cultural high note, at the kind of event I hope to see more of in 2017. My husband and I attended the Harlem Fine Arts Show thanks to the good folks at COUNTRY Financial. As sponsors, they had a booth — really more like a lounge — where one of my favorite artists, Martha Wade, created an amazing artwork in real time. I LOVE her work! Click here to check her out on Instagram, @Wadecreate.
This is the piece she made live at the COUNTRY Financial event.
SO cool and such a great meaning behind it. Peep the video!
Here I am with another of Martha’s pieces — many of her pieces are a mix of acrylic and oil, often incorporating multimedia elements. Like this one, which includes pennies.
She told me the hair on this piece took months to dry, oil paint with this kind of texture takes forever. How dope is this!
I discovered some really incredible artists at the Harlem Fine Arts Show. For example, I would buy and collect the art of K.A Williams, AKA WAK, if I could afford it. His booth was packed throughout the event so I didn’t get a chance to introduce myself, but my husband met him and said he was really cool. I just fell in love with his artwork — some of it is very somber and evocative of history. Some pieces are just beautiful and speak to our excellence. For example, this is Proud Queen, by K.A Williams. SO beautiful.
The space was packed with art lovers and artists, and in the midst of all of that I made a wonderful discovery. I found myself drawn to the paintings in one of the booths, and learned that the artist was Sherman Beck, and I later learned he was a member of Chicago’s AFRICOBRA movement (you can click here to learn more). Mr. Beck had an incredible painting of Frederick Douglass, but I found myself staring at this piece.
“Do you know who this is?” he asked me. I did not. So I got an art lesson and a history lesson. This is Miss Biddy Mason, and her life story is nothing short of incredible. Click here to read all about her and be amazed.
Knowing her story makes the painting so much more vivid in meaning.
I was struck by this painting below.
The artist is Ayo Catrance. So compelling and fierce.
These sculptures and multimedia pieces stopped me in my tracks.
They’re by Water Kolours from Memphis.
There are paintings galore at the Harlem Fine Arts Show, and there are also sculptures, ceramics and jewelry. I really liked meeting Ras Tree and discovering his Aboriginal Bling Blam jewelry. I fell in LOVE with this amethyst he had. And I had to try on this clear quartz pyramid bracelet, I’m STILL dreaming about it!
One of my favorite Chicago jewelers was there, but she was also exhibiting her paintings! She does really detailed, perfect recreations of beloved celebrities, complete with their photos so you can see just how perfect the likeness is. Her Tupac piece is so powerful. And her Michael Jackson was my favorite! This is the ever gorgeous, multitalented Fanta Celah.
It was a pleasure to run into people I knew from other experiences, and to discover their artistic talent. I have worked with Kudzai Blessing Mutasa before and had no idea she was such a phenomenal painter! Her work has such unique texture. Truly beautiful and fascinating to learn her process.
I discovered so many amazing artists, but to me the most inspiring was Antonio L. Davis, mouth painter. You can read more about his life story here, via his official site. The precision he achieves with just his mouth — incredible.
I thoroughly enjoyed the Harlem Fine Arts experience — thank you for the invitation, COUNTRY Financial! Click here to learn more about this traveling artistic experience, and find out when it may be in a city near you.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of COUNTRY Financial . The opinions and text are all mine.