Unapologetic Art Expo (August 31, 2019)

Unapologetic Art Expo was created Pierre and Kiana cohosts of the podcast Unapologetically Different. The art expo gives local artists a chance to showcase their art in a friendly, uplifting and lively environment.

How Unapologetic Art Expo Came To Be

“I rarely go to museums but one day my girlfriend suggested we check out the exhibit “Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983.” It was a powerful day to say the least! I was able to experience so many works from artists who look like me but during a time of extreme oppression and racial tension. Experiencing their perspectives though vast mediums was moving and I thought why can’t we do this ourselves. I realized creating a brave space today where artists of color could display their creative expressions would not only be dope but necessary! I told Key and she was on board immediately with ideas to spice up the event and help take it from a vision to reality!” – Coach P

Tell us about the first Expo.

“The first Unapologetic Art Expo was a huge success! Tickets sold out the week of the event! Several of the art pieces were sold, which was good for our first event. Also it was amazing to see our vision come to life! From the artists, location, vendors, and guests. We were really impressed by the turnout and the immense support we received. There was such a demand after the first Expo. We decided to do it again as we consider this a staple for the culture. For us by us!” -Key

What can people look forward to this year?

“Since it is the Summer Edition this time around, we’ll be using the outdoor space. Patrons will be able to lounge outside and enjoy the weather. There will also be a live DJ! In addition there are different artists from the first Expo as we want to use this platform to highlight as many artists as possible.” -Key

Who are the artists?

Dwayne Jones is a digital illustrator and his work really stood out because it is big, bold and unapologetically black! His color choices are vibrate and really create a presence. Getting to meet Dwayne was great because he loves to produce art non-stop and consistently working, you can see and feel his passion when you speak to him.

Name of piece: Modern Kings

Medium: Digital on Canvas

Dimensions: 30 in. x 38 in.

IG: dwayne_jones_

Emuche Nwaigwe is a digital illustrator and artist, he has worked with acrylics on canvas in the past but recently has been focusing on his digital projects. His pieces are very lively and dynamic! They beautifully capture a moment in time and you can’t help but be wrapped into the moment with the subject! He also enjoys working at prisons such as Rikers Island and Schools teaching art to inmates and childrens which shows his commitment to community which we loved!

Name of piece: Runaway Slave

Medium: Digital on Canvas

Dimensions: 24 in. x 32 in.

IG: emuchenwaigwe

Tashaina is by far the quietest of this year’s artist which I can relate to but her work speaks volumes! She works with acrylics on canvas and she uses her art to loudly express herself. That’s what art does and that’s what we want to do with this Expo! She is great at finding a balance between modern day pop culture but also art reminiscent of the motherland of Africa which is very cool and not easy to do.

Name of piece: Vibes

Medium: Acrylics on Canvas

Dimensions: 12 in x 36 in.

IG: shaivisualarts

Orisha Nnani paints using acrylics on canvas and is also a photographer so he is no stranger to working with people and portraits. His art really captures the essence of his subjects and you can see and feel their emotions vividly in his work. The art expo is about letting our artists express their realities and this is done beautifully through Orisha’s portraits.

Name of piece: Tequila Sunday

Medium: Acrylics on Canvas

Dimensions: 24 in. x 30 in.

IG: dondurant

Last but not least there is Blake who goes by Itsjustblake. He’s dabbled in many forms of art from music, digital illustration, and working with acrylic on canvas. He embodies Black Consciousness with his art which is thought provoking. He describes his work as ‘continuing the dialogue of prosperity through adversity’. His pieces are raw, powerful commentaries that speak to the struggle of the black experience which has instilled an unshakable resilience in our communities.

Name of piece: Silenced

Medium: Acrylic on Wood Panel

Dimensions: 24 in. x 24.5 in.

IG: itsjustblake

“All the artists are unique and bring their own experience to the event which we are very excited about!”

-Coach P

Creation Of The Event.

“Coach P knows the Gallery owner through his Uncle. Once we had the venue locked in, then it became easier bringing everything together. We both seeked out artists for the show. I reached out to Harlem Haberdashery about utilizing their new liquor brand, HH Bespoke. I also contacted the local Black Owned Restaurant, Black Nile, about catering the event. Coach P was in charge of the catering staff on the day of the show. We both networked and managed our event to ensure things ran smoothly. And we wanted to ensure our patrons knew about our podcast and premise of us putting on the Expo!” -Key

Anything Else?

“This event is very special to Key and I because it is through sharing our stories and experiences that we can shift the narrative about being black in America and around the world. As humans we have far more in common than what separates us and art can be used to unite! We are living in a time where creatives of color are telling more stories than ever, whether it is on the big screen, television, social media, books etc. We are truly humbled and honored to be a part of that movement in our own unique way!” -Coach P

Please support these talented artists as well the Unapologetically Different Podcast. You don’t see events like this everyday. Tickets are $20 for general admission (no alcohol) and $35 for an open bar ticket. You can purchase your tickets here