It’s the place where the Nile river flows. The pyramids stand there as a monument to ingenuity and creativity. Africa. It is a place of promise and political struggle. It is known as one of the prominent cradles of civilization.
Through the years, its history has traveled through wise oracles passing on the legends of the land. Africa is a place where the rhythm of drum beats, the roar of lions and the cadence of stories are carried through the wind of time.
Jon Onye Lockard captures the beauty of the land and its culture in his exhibit Africentricity, which is on display as a part of the Fayetteville State University Fine Art Series weekend of events. This exemplary art is an examination of socio-political Black art aesthetics. The work illuminates historical revelation and is a visual reflection of African society.
The Rosenthal Gallery will display Lockard’s work from Sept. 22 through Nov. 3. An opening reception will be held on Sept. 22 from 1-3 p.m. Lockard will attend the reception and will also be available to speak with students on Thursday and Friday prior to the reception.
Lockard’s world view, which stems form urban life and political struggle, is woven into his work in a refreshing way. His more than 50-year career span as an artist, muralist, portraitist, illustrator, educator and historian brings wisdom and enlightens his work.
According to Lockard, “My art regenerates my spirit and renews my continuing curiosity of life. The existence of my people reflects a long, rich history of images that I have learned to immerse my spirit in, to give me visions of regeneration.”
“Those Who Learn, Teach” is the theme for the Africentricity exhibit, and Lockard has been both a student and a teacher. He is the senior lecturer at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich. He is the former president of the National Conference of Arts and is currently a member of the board of directors. He is the associate director for the Society of African Culture & Aesthetics, and was part of the coordinating team that worked with sculptor Lei Yi Xin on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial project. Lockard is truly making his mark in time and teaching through his art. Africentricity is an emotionally electric melody of African culture, challenge and contribution.
Rosenthal Gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and you may contact Dwight Smith at 910-672-1795 for more information.
Photo: The works of Jay Onye Lockard are on display as part of the Fayetteville State University Fine Art Series. at the Rosenthal Gallery on the campus of FSU.