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Poe Park Visitor Center Online Gallery: Black History Month Exhibition

The Poe Park Visitor Center proudly presents selected works of five artists for our 2022 virtual Black History Month exhibition. Each artist communicates their view of the Black experience as seen and lived by them. There is not just one side to the story. Through their works, these artists present stories that are powerful, thought-provoking, and as varied and complex as the artists.  

Visit our Black History page to learn more about Black culture and history in New York City and the parks that tell their stories.

About Poe Park Visitor Center

Poe Park Visitor Center is a community hub at Poe Park in the Bronx that offers art, literature, fitness, and community events. Due to the pandemic, the center is closed until further notice and the gallery has temporarily moved online. 

Albert Bermudez, Evolution / Evolución

Artist statement: This art piece is inspired by the evolution of African heritage around the world — its cultural diversification, custom, and religion with the population of the different continents.

in this abstract image, the artist uses colorful stars, shapes, flowers, and other elements

Evolution / Evolución

24 x 40, wood, acrylic, paint, permanent marker, fabric, 2020

* Click on left image to zoom in

About the artist: Inspired by life events, my artwork tells a story. From a young age, I took myself into a safe place through my artwork. I had the opportunity to grow and to develop my unique art style through drawing, painting, and sculpturing, with the idea of using all recycled materials available to me. I always try to maintain as a goal, to keep the Earth green and as beautiful as I can. I presented my artwork throughout Puerto Rico, with the support of other artists. These experiences helped grow and build my way to coordinate and curate events in visually multicultural environments. New York City is now my new home and my new canvas.

Josipa Kecman, LELA

Artist statement: I was so intrigued to paint this beautiful person I know and her happy-looking eyes. LELA — the meaning of the name is black beauty. The symbolism of the name Lela is lofty, someone that’s elevated in character and spirit; noble lofty ideals; elevated in status.

portrait painting of a woman in a headwrap

LELA

12 x 16, acrylic on canvas, 2021

* Click on left image to zoom in

About the artist: Josipa Kecman is an artist from Banja Luka, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. Josipa currently lives in Winnipeg, Canada. "I have lived in different countries, and continents so many cultures have influenced my art."

Betty Murray, Amanda Gorman

Artist statement: National Youth Inaugural Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration responds to a pained America. Her poetry exudes rhythmic words of hope. Words flow from the very essence, of her head, falling upon her yellow coat into the ears of the world.

painting of Amanda Gorman wearing a yellow coat, a white scarf with the words power and dream, ruby jewelry in hair, words from the poem at the ends of some of her braids, and black balls that form a grown and braided twists

Amanda Gorman

16 x 20, mixed media acrylic painting, 2021

On January 21, 2021, on a cold day under the bright sunlight, National Youth Poet Laureate, during the COVID-19 pandemic, stood behind a protective security glass shield, and before the world. In poetry, she spoke to the aftermath of a pained, emotionally battled America, and its threatened democracy. At the inauguration of President Biden, Amanda asked the world for reconciliation, in The Hill We Climb. 

In my painting, her hair is tightly braided in cornrows; the circular black balls represent braided twists. The wind blows her hair and words of poetry fall from her loose braids onto her yellow coat. Amanda’s yellow coat seemingly expresses the message of confidence, joy, optimism, growth, and having the strength to take the next steps on your journey, despite any fears or insecurities that might be slowing you down. Around her neck, she wears a white scarf with the words Dream and Power. A Crown of red rubies in her hair represents her mother’s sorority Delta Sigma Theta.

* Click on left image to zoom in

About the artist: Betty J Murray (Betty J Of N.Y.) is a Bronx senior citizen, self-taught artist, and crafter. Her artwork varies, from painting on canvas to bottles with touches of embellishments. Often chosen for exhibitions, she also raises funds for Lupus and Type 2 Diabetes. Before painting, she authored and illustrated two children's picturebooks “Grandma Buddy’s House" and "Ten Is for Tendai”.

Anne Price

Artist statement: I come from a family of artists. I have just started painting in recent years, but I have studied and admired art all my life. After my retirement, I am finally fulfilling my dream of painting. I work in acrylic, and I am mostly self-taught, with a little help from the artists in my family. 

painting of people holding up Black Lives Matter signs

Black Lives Matter

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

painting of people holding up Black Lives Matter signs
painting of Frederick Douglass
painting of Harriet Tubman

About the artist: Anne Price is a member of the Riverdale Art Association and a longtime Bronx resident. Anne has exhibited works at the Blue Door Art Center in Yonkers NY, at the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Culture Society, and other nearby venues.

Gloria Zapata

Artist statement: I just want to use my passion for photography to show the world that beauty can be found in anything. My accomplishments are for my work to speak, not only for me but also for those that need encouragement and continue healing. My passion for photography is to continue showing the world that, when the world is seen in black and white the beauty can be found in a splash of color. Also, to support our culture and community and expose various talented people and diversity, such as models, dancers, and portraitures. 

 
black and white photo of a fist with a red hard painted on the middle finger

BLK Love

Fist Model: Gloria Zapata, 2018   

* Click on left image to zoom in
* Click a thumbnail below to view/change image on the left

black and white photo of a fist with a red hard painted on the middle finger
photo of an individual with orange slices for eyes and a month, the individual is wearing a dashiki with highlights of orange colors as well as blue, green, white, black, and red
photo of a monument of MLK Jr in Washington DC
black and white photo of a child holding up a sign that reads: I am not a target; justice for Trayvon. The target is highlighted in color
black and white image of a dancer performing in front of the larger-than-life copper statue of Harriet Tubman in Harlem
black and white image of a protest in Union Square, in color is one of the signs held up that shows the word Strikes Again
black and white photo of someone holding up the Pan African flag in color, also in color is the individual's t-shirt which features and individual with a fro taking a photo and the words: Be Free
black and white image of an individual wearing over-the-ear headphones, the over-the-ear part is highlighted in rainbow colors with a Black fist, other fists and heart-shaped buttons on the individual's hat are also highlighted

About the artist: Gloria Zapata is a freelance photographer and an artist (painter/mural artist). Gloria studied art and film photography at Washington Irving High School and continued along that path when in college, studying multimedia at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) and now majoring in art and photography at Lehman College in the Bronx. Gloria is also an art instructor and teaches middle school students photography and art crafts for the past 10 years. "It took me no time at all to get familiar with my photography art craft. I have not looked back since and only look forward to expanding my craft through painting and creative collaborations to further advertise my business. There is no limit when it comes to the subjects of my photography. My goal is to ultimately open my own gallery and educate the new generation, more opportunities, and a space to teach workshops and for future exhibitions to come."

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