54967 logo wt26dddc4bs71623351112 600February is Black History Month, and there will be no shortage of activities for the public to participate in to immerse themselves in the culture and history of African Americans. Our People: The Black Influence in Contemporary Culture exhibition is one event no one should miss.

The Arts Council of Fayetteville Our People exhibit will run from Jan. 26th to March 2nd. Admission is free to the public. The exhibit can be viewed during gallery hours, Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday noon to 6 p.m., and Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Community members, churches, schools, and everyone in between are welcome to come enjoy the masterpieces of current black artists. This year’s exhibit jurors are Brandon Dean Johnson, Bryane Broadie, Makayla Binter and Bob Pinson, Arts Council of Fayetteville’s CEO and President.

Our People: The Black Influence in Contemporary Culture is a colorful, beautiful and sincere visual homage to black culture from black artists, a Black History Month exhibition that focuses on the grace, accomplishments and subject of current black artists.

“Our People is really contemporary, modern, and I refer to a phrase, forward-looking exhibit, in the sense that we really wanted to give flowers and also just acknowledge the artists. The artists that are making art right now are going to have stuff in museums and the history forward. So instead of focusing on the things that have already happened, we want to acknowledge the present and the future. I would say that a lot of the art and just the type of art that’s in the exhibit and just the way that you can interact with the exhibit is really in that same modern style,” said Miles McKeller-Smith, Director of Public Relations at the Arts Council.

Our People is a highly anticipated exhibit that has taken time, blood, sweat, tears and a little clarification to create the wonderfully magical experience the public has to look forward to. It is, for the most part, thanks to the work and dedication of the curator.

McKeller-Smith said, “First and foremost I think it’s important to bring up the Curator, Collyn Strother. He is a Fayetteville native and also a Fayetteville State Alumni and he’s an artist that has chosen to really do what he does here, and build a community here. When he had the opportunity to curate this event you could tell he really just took the
torch and ran with it.”

The Opening Reception was one for the books on Jan. 26th. An opening reception befitting of its show, the community came out to support Our People and the wonderful artists that are being featured, including local artists Lauren Falls and Chayla Walker. After an artist-only private reception, the gallery officially opened its doors for the public to view the exhibit. DJ Fudgee kept the ambiance of the night going, while Hip-Hop Collective The Social Contract stopped through for a performance. A night of celebrating black art wouldn’t be complete without spoken word. Keith Sowell held it down phonetically.

A celebration to start a celebration, community members have the entire month to take in the art of Our People: The Black Influence in Contemporary Culture.

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