Parks@Home Banner. The words parks at home in white are placed on a green background

Poe Park Visitor Center: Black History Month Exhibition

The Poe Park Visitor Center proudly presents its virtual exhibition in commemoration of Black History Month. Through striking photography, paintings, and multi-media art, established and emerging artists offer their unique interpretation of the Black experience. 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. 

Michael Young

Artist statement: I'm a street, portrait, and documentary photographer. My work captures reality but presents it so that the mundane is altered. I use photography as a means of expression to communicate and document the "beauty" and "hardship" of the world around me. My goal is to capture moments, expressions, a mood, a feeling. I always want you as the viewer to experience a connection when you look at my work... I want to create imagery that makes you feel a part of my experience and gives you a front-row seat to the world as I see it. 

Black and white image of protesters linking arms in front of the protest

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Black and white image of protesters linking arms in front of the protest
Black and white image of a protester, wearing a mask, a t-shirt that reads Black Lives Matter, and white gloves, puts his right fist in the air
Black and white image of the American flag in the window of a train. The flag is flipped because it is displayed right-side from inside the train. A Black boy with a backpack and cap is sitting in the seats next to the flag
Black and white photo of a group of men in suits sitting together in rows of benches in a room. They appear to be looking to a speaker at the front of the room

My Generation, Terrenceo Hammonds

Artist statement: Based on lived experience, my artwork captures the crosscurrent in American Culture and characterizes this complex relationship of angst and hope. The complexity is formed through an equally intricate painting technique, in some instances collaging materials from billboards and magazines onto the picture plane and at other times decollating the media.

Two football players, with a golden halo around their head and one wearing red and the other wearing blue, kneel on a football field in front of a stadium packed with people

What Could Be More American #1

30.5 x 36, acrylic and gold leaf on canvas, 2019

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Two football players, with a golden halo around their head and one wearing red and the other wearing blue, kneel on a football field in front of a stadium packed with people
Two football players wearing red uniforms and the number 7 and 5 kneels in front of another player of the same team with the number 38. On a wall behind there are the words Facebook on one side and Twiter on the other. The American Flag is flipped upside down on the wall. All three players have golden halos around their head
A football player in a red uniform showing the number 68 and with a golden halo crouches in front of a display of the American flag. Blood is scattered on the flag.
Players in white uniforms, two with the numbers 25 and 3, kneel alongside a landscape. A dancer moves across the space with a golden train as part of their clothing above a red space. The time 4:17 is written in the corner.
A portrait of a dog, which appears to be wearing a suit. The words Why Must I Be Like That is written on both sides. A Wet Paint sign is below.
Collage of images, faces, and wrists with watches against a green background with orange markings. The word Power stands out at the bottom of the piece

Strange Fruit, James Deliard

Artist statement: Strange Fruit is a painting that depicts public lynching practice of slaves as punishment and warning to other slaves with intent. It was a way to terrorize the Black race. I wanted to demonstrate the savage, grotesque, and painful nature of this crime.

Drawing of two heads connected by the back of the skull, their eyes closed. The heads are hanging from a rope. Seed-pod like drawings extend from the bottom of heads, where the rope splits

Strange Fruit
30 x 40, acrylic paint on canvas, 2021

Blacks in the Pandemic, Betty J. Murray

Artist statement: People are going into hospitals dying, being carried out in body bags with barely enough time for burial. In this pandemic, people are protesting the unjust murders of African Americans while America watched a police officer placed his knee on the neck of an unarmed man (George Floyd), choking the wind out to his body. His last dying words, heard him calling his dead mother. These injustices stimulated others to join African Americans in their protest, carrying signs with fists raised demanding equal treatment... As these two pandemics take place, we watch as it unfolded in America.

Image of a bottle with the the microscopic view of the virus on top of the bottle. Scenes drawn on the bottle include folks wearing masks and writings on a Black fist that reads Stop Killing Us.
This view of the bottle shows George Floyd lying on the ground. He is saying I can't breathe
This side shows an ambulance in front of the hospital
This side shows a depiction of a body bag. Above it is a tombstone with a cross that reads: Died of COVID19 2020 

Gloria Zapata

Artist Statement: Being a Blacktina from Honduras, proud of my skin color, proud of my heritage, there is a sadness in the reflection of seeing myself, my people suffer. Suffer in suffocation, in lockdown, in misunderstood and misrepresented light. But in that reflection, I see feminity, masculinity, soul, support, empowerment, color, not just of brown palettes but rainbows themed through my storytelling. Rocks of strength molding solidarity, accountability, authority, for the past, the now, the suppressed, the unheard and unseen. During a time of drastic change with eyes and ears standing up, shouting out, my work plays through the scales of human-like chords of us as humanity embracing the unpredictable events of Covid, of quarantine, of separation and segregation. My art goes out to souls here, souls rested, souls lost.

men will be hmmm
women will be core
victims will be pain
covid will be virus
riots will be death
flags will be serenity
fist will be power
justice will be unspoken
profile will be judgement
colorisim will be ignored

and I will breathe for the suffocating, brush strokes for the gay, hold accountability for the inability of what's in the face of today.

Black and white image of a woman wearing her locs in a headwrap and leaning her chin on one fist. The image is decorated with graphic images of hearts, spheres, and space dust

Niya Power

16 x 20, collaborated painting by artist: Bio Tatscru

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Black and white image of a woman wearing her locs in a headwrap and leaning her chin on one fist. The image is decorated with graphic images of hearts, spheres, and space dust
A woman in a headwrap stands sideways in front of the American flag. She is holding up a cardboard poster. The poster shows a red hand holding up a bleeding heart formed into a peace sign
A woman holding up a fist faces the American flag. On her back are the words End Gun Violence
A woman in front of the American flag has tape labeled Justice covering her mouth, the American flag as a tie around her neck, and is holding up a broken heart sign that reads Black Lives Matter
A woman wearing a headwrap and with tribal markings on her skin crosses her arms in front of her chest, fists clenched, engraved in her earrings are the words Black Lives Matter
A woman hold on to one side of her earrings which has the word Queen

Josipa Kecman

Painting of a side profile of a Black woman wearing a white headwrap

Madame

12 x 16, acrylic on canvas, 2016

A person is born with charisma and that person I call “Madam, a lady with a class.” To be charismatic is not determined by where you were born, what you do, your education level, and it is especially not determined by your skin color, your faith, or your belief. You are born with it, you can’t train it or learn it, either you are or you are not.

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Painting of a side profile of a Black woman wearing a white headwrap
The reflection of the American flag is shown in the eyes of a Black man with gray and black eyebrows and beard
A painting of a Black woman with an afro leaning in

Thinking Things Through, Joan Barnes

Artist statement: My work is an examination of the different photographers working in the black and white film media that have influenced me often to use black and white paper to prepare my wood and linoleum prints. Gordon Parks and Ansel Adams are my favorite photographers... I often use my photographs as the basis for a print... Living in the Bronx and engaging in many citywide activities, my soulful subjects are shown depicting urban life and the pulse the city has on them. 

A boy holds the side of his head with both hands, elbows on knees, while looking up from one eye

Linoleum prints and wood, 1970s

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

A boy holds the side of his head with both hands, elbows on knees, while looking up from one eye
Side profile of a man dressed in suit and hat bending over from a chair
Side profile of two faces side by side, one looks to the viewer, the other stares straight ahead

Gregorio Velez

Artist statement: I'm an emerging contemporary painter, performing artist, and educator. My work is based on observations of nature, Picasso’s cubism, and Van Gogh’s impressionism styles. Although I keep the Garifuna culture present in my works, I also dwell in contemporary events and routine/mundane situations aiming at striking and maintaining mental balance and emotional health.

Woven straw like material used to create a fist in various shades of brown. The letters BLM are placed at the bottom

BLACK LIVES MATTER

28 x 39 3/4, mixed media on board, 2020

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Woven straw like material used to create a fist in various shades of brown. The letters BLM are placed at the bottom
three fishermen carry fish along a beach
abstract image of a turtle
A visual representation of the Middle Passage experience between Africa and the Caribbean. Words at the bottom are a Bob Marley quote: Stolen from Africa, brought to America, fighting an arrival, fighting for
Abstract painting of geometric shapes, a human figure is drawn on a box
straw like material used to make abstract geometric shapes, a human figure is standing in a box

Patrice J. Payne

Artist statement: I create because I want to tell a story and produce content that matters – content that represents aspects of my identity and personal experience as a Black woman navigating through various social environments... My work often depicts characters and/or figures that explore notions of empowerment as well as draw upon my interest in my cultural background, current events, the natural environment, and civil and human rights. Through my art, I aim to inspire people, especially younger audiences, to create work that is indicative of their experiences and understanding of the world we live in. Art is one way we can use our voices to share our stories. Ultimately, I want my work to capture and deliver the sensation of hope, power, dynamism, and true self-discovery.

Image of Chadwick Boseman in the clouds, text reads: may your brightness always shine down from above

Chadwick Above

Digital collage, 2021

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Image of Chadwick Boseman in the clouds, text reads: may your brightness always shine down from above
Collage of family photos
Image of a woman doing art behind her are the Barbados and American flags and images of town and beach scenes in Barbados
Painting of a woman carrying a jug on her head while carrying a baby in her arms

Trevon Blondet

Artist statement:I enjoy documenting everyday events to shine a positive light on my subjects, whether that subject is fatherhood, Artist, or the Bronx; I try to find hidden and tender moments. Using portraits, street photography, or photo journalistic approaches, I like to visually tell stories with my photography.

Click a thumbnail to view a larger image.

Was this information helpful?