Harlem Fine Arts Show Features Works Reflecting African American Life

Harlem, NEW YORK—Leroy Campbell spent the weekend explaining his creative influences and promoting his newspaper series—narrative collage paintings that incorporate real newspapers with headlines that reflect on the past and inform current circumstances. Campbell’s work shows family and community bonds and examines socio-political and cultural issues in African American life. Many of the dailies he uses reference civil rights and acknowledge President Obama’s historic leadership.

Campbell was an exhibitor at the Harlem Fine Arts Show at Riverside Church where Black art was for sale on three floors. From booth to booth, African American themes resonated. Galleries and artists from across the country exhibited at the show where much of the work was representational, depicting African American people and cultural moments. There was African art too. The range of offerings was wide. Work by several critically recognized artists including Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence and photographer James Vanderzee was available, and regionally known and emerging artists participated, as well as commercially successful ones like Campbell.

The Harlem Fine Arts Show ran from Feb. 10-12, 2012.

All photos by Arts Observer

Above, Leroy Campbell with canvases from his newspaper series. Top of page, Female trio by Michael Escoffery, a Jamaican-born artist who lives and works in Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

Detail of “A Lot a Learning,”(embellished giclee on canvas) by Leroy Campbell.

Shoe polish paintings by Frank Frazier of Dallas. Left, Tommie Smith and John Carlos raising their fists at the 1968 Mexico City Olympic games; Right, a slave ship diagram that looks like a fancy window.

Detail of “Stagger Lee,” by Najee Dorsey of Atlanta.

Detail at the bottom of a painted canvas called “Bass Reeves Lawmen,” (mixed media) by Najee Dorsey. Reeves was the first black U.S. Deputy Marshall west of the Mississippi River.

Painting by Michael Escoffery.

“Ancestral Calling I,” 2004 (oil on shaped canvas) by Barry L. Mason of Mt. Vernon, N.Y.

Detail of “My Babe,” (acrylic on canvas) by George Hunt.

By Robert Graham Carter, 2011.

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