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Gallery 18: Black History Month Opening ReceptionFebruary 14, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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February 14, 2021 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm


February 14, 2021
12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
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Gallery 18: Black History Month Opening Reception

Gallery 18 is pleased to announce our second annual exhibit of Celebrating Black History Month, entitled If Not Now, When? It will be on virtual display from February 1 to March 1. A Virtual Opening Reception will be held on Sunday, February 14 from 12-2pm. Click here to join the Virtual Reception. The day coincides both with Frederick Douglass’s birthday and with not-so-beside-the-point Valentine’s Day.

Each year, there is an official theme for Black History Month aimed at taking a closer look at important issues. This year’s theme is “The Black Family.” While a truly beautiful and timeless theme, Gallery 18 thought to seize the moment right in front of us, the one born out of the Black Lives Matter protests in this country and indeed throughout the world, following the death of George Floyd. It is also in keeping with the Riverdale Y’ s broader goals of justice in their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI) Initiatives.

The title of the exhibit seeks to capture the spirit of those protests and to keep it in the forefront of dialogue. Its origin are the words of Hillel the Elder: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And being only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?”

The art pieces in the show range widely in style, medium, and point-of-view toward the theme, but they are one in packing an emotional punch. In large measure, they are provocative. The exhibit could be seen as a “call and response,” the pieces to be enjoyed not passively but drawing out active engagement and participation around the issue of the great American racial divide and the continuing inequities and pain that plague us.

To ensure high quality, the show was juried by two outstanding artists, Ken Jackson, whose work is graphic illustration, portrait, and figurative paintings, and Dennis Shelton, who works in collage, mixed media, and wood assemblages.

As in last year’s exhibit, the artist backgrounds represented are a healthy mix, underscoring the need for all voices to be raised in order to stimulate thought, discussion and, ultimately, solutions. Now. Not when.