Morris Arts is thrilled to see Art in the Atrium return to all four floors of the Atrium Gallery with its 31st annual exhibit and sale, Black Art in the Sun. Featuring Artist Ron E. A. Powell (aka REAP), the exhibit will include also works of 55 established and emerging Black artists drawn from throughout the entire country. Launching a weekend of Juneteenth celebrations throughout Morris County, the free, Public Reception will take place on June 15, 2023 from 6:30-9pm at the Gallery, floors 2-5 in the Morris County Administration Building, 10 Court Street, Morristown, NJ 07960. There will also be a VIP (patrons, press) reception at the same location from 5:30- 6:30pm.
Art in the Atrium’s annual exhibit is the largest of its kind in the state. In a testament to its prominence, it drew unsolicited artist submissions from as far away as Seattle and Atlanta. The result is a veritable visual feast, showcasing 222 works filled with color, energy, and intriguing, unique forms, demonstrating the depth and compass of contemporary Black fine art.
In addition to the Featured Artist, Ron E. A. Powell (aka REAP), the exhibit includes works by the 54 other outstanding artists: Gwendolyn Barrington-Jackson, Sid Blaize, Anthony Boone, Joseph Boss, Tasha Branham, Leroy Campbell, Patricia Coleman-Cobb, Brian Collier, Harold Davis, Eddie Debos, Brandie Dickens, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Stephen B. Ellis, Maria Estrela, Jay Golding,B. Curtis Grayson III, Serron Green, David A. Hollowell, Tenjon Ikeda, Bailey Li, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Courtney Minor, Mansa K. Mussa, Jamarr Neyland, Rosalind Nzinga Nichol, Sage Ofray, Samad Onque, Suliman Onque, Yvonne Onque, Anu Oro, Cynthia Northington Purdie, Cheryl Riley, Gina Rivas-Velasquez, Red Red, Alicia Robinson, Philip Robinson, Amira Rogers, Akil Roper, Theda Sandiford, Fausto Savila, Serron, Fin’es Scott, Jonte Silver, Timothy Simmons, Glendora Simonson, Veronica Spruill, Bleriot Thompson, Dawn Tighe, William Tolliver, Denise Toney, Cynthia Vaughn, Bisa Washington, Lydia Watson, and Heather Williams.
Clerestory Fine Art (https://www.clerestoryfineart.com/artists/ron-powell) provides a glimpse into the fascinating background of this year’s Featured Artist, Ron E. A. Powell, also known as REAP:
Artist Ron E.A. Powell’s parents gave him his four-letter initials as a reminder “to reap what you sow.” As farmers in Jamaica, his parents were deeply in touch with the cycles of life, and today, he strives to explore in his art a similar holistic balance. Powell is an exceptional Hand Engraving craftsman at Tiffany & Co. Having completed his apprenticeship under many of the current master engravers, Powell dedicates his time developing his talents toward the craft. He has designed and created many portraits, landscapes and various artworks for the clientele. Through his discipline and expertise, he was selected to be an ambassador of Hand Engraving events across the country and abroad. These demonstrations allow for educating and providing a special personal touch to Tiffany merchandise. Ron has studied Fine Arts and Illustration at New Jersey City University and The Arts Students League of NY. He displays his artistry in various galleries across the country, Canada, and China, amassing awards and publications from numerous institutions.
Traditionally observed on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates Black liberation from slavery at the end of the Civil War when President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became the law in all states. As the Morris Museum’s Juneteenth publicity states: “The day also highlights the resilience, solidarity, and culture of the Black Community. June 19, 1865 was the day word reached the enslaved in Galveston, Texas, though this emancipation actually ended slavery on paper two years earlier on January 1, 1863. ” This Atrium exhibit launches a weekend of Juneteenth events and activities – from art openings to an outdoor festival on the Green – presented by a partnership of local nonprofit organizations. Art in the Atrium, Inc. (ATA) is a non-profit, Black-led cultural institution founded in Morristown, New Jersey in 1991. As a culture keeper, it is committed to celebrating and advancing Black culture through visual arts. It supports and invests in Black fine art and artists by giving them visibility and a creative space to breathe. For more information, visit www.artintheatrium.org. Now celebrating its 50th Anniversary, Morris Arts is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1973 dedicated to building community through the arts. Using the arts to inspire, connect and engage, Morris Arts serves as a resource for Morris County with a special focus on arts programming in the community and in the schools, arts advocacy, and support of the Morris Area community of artists and arts organizations.
This exhibition is made possible in part by funds from Morris Arts through the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Atrium Art Gallery is free and open to the public during business hours, 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday through Friday and until 7:30pm on Thursdays. The exhibit remains in place until August 18, 2023.
See Juneteenth Morristown Weekend schedule below:
Art in the Atrium Public Reception of Black Art in the Sun
Thursday, June 15, 6:30 to 9 PM
Morris County Administration and Records Building
10 Court Street, Morristown, NJ 07960
Morris Museum’s Juneteenth Party Celebration
Friday, June 16, 6 to 9 PM
6 Normandy Heights Road, Morristown, NJ 07960
Sankofa’s Juneteenth Festival of Morris County
Saturday, June 17, Noon to 5 PM
The Green and Pioneer Plaza, Morristown, NJ 07960