Inaugural Black History Month Art Show and Reception

With Spring Break quickly making its arrival, this past week, I decided to take a visit to the University of Central Arkansas’ Downtown office for its Inaugural Black History Month Art Show. 

Although the exhibit is tad bit late, it was still nice to see the works of young black emerging students/artist from different fields and facets of life. Their works included all types of mediums from charcoal to acrylic to pastel to even digital prints. 

But, what stuck out the most to me was the works of a young artist by the name of Trevor Dyson. Dyson like many of the students created series of pieces centered-around the concept of life and death. 

Check it out!

Life After Death

Trevor Dyson
Life After Death (2019)

The thing about this piece was his use of movement, shape and space. There wasn’t much color but the single use of red gave it the statement it needed to get his message across. It not only makes you focus solely on it. But it almost makes you forget about the person pictured in the corner. 

I say that because when you’re looking at it, your eyes are so busy following the movement of the butterflies leaving the canvas that the figure becomes stagnant in its position.

I was also intrigued by Dyson’s use of shapes rather than lines. For instance, if you look at the figure long enough, you tend to feel as if you’re looking at one of those Rorschach inkblot cards you see in the movies. 

My Understanding of Life and Death

But what I gathered from this piece was the understanding of life itself and how all things die in time…whether it’s by choice, at the hands of others or naturally. But when they die, it does not stop the soul of that particular person, animal or object from evolving to its full potential. 

You see, we tend to feel like life ends or stops when things die. Or we may even feel like it was cut short. But in actuality, the fact may be that it may have ran its course. But what if things have the ability to also evolve into something more beautiful and powerful than life itself. 

I know my reasoning my sound crazy or far fetch to others with the recent things happening around the world. But who knows that’s beauty of artwork itself. 

Now Dyson’s does inflict the sense of emotion such as sadness, confusion and happiness. You can look the use of shapes and how he composed them to get those feelings across. 

For instance, the isolation of the figure to corner gives it a sadness that the person is either hurting or troubled by something. And the cluster of blood splatters slowly transforming from oblong shapes to butterflies tells of the confusion the figure may also be feeling.

But all in all…I enjoyed the all the artwork curated by all the students. I look forward to next years show to see what stories will be portrayed then.

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