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Fresh Black Paint (2010): Tightrope Realities

What:   Fresh Black Paint 2010: Tightrope Realities
Who:    New Works featuring veteran artists: John Yancey, Arleen Polite, Bob Jones, Ifaniike "Taiwo" Sankofa, Jonathan Clark, and Nailah I. Akinyemi-Sankofa
And, Introducing: Ketu'rah Glore and Kelly Stafford
Exhibition Curated by Nailah Sankofa
When:   Opening Reception 7-10pm, Saturday June 19, 2010
Exhibition runs through July 24, 2010
Where:  DiverseArts New East Gallery
@ Saltillo Lofts
1601 East 5th Street, Suite 106
Austin, TX 78702

For more information
contact Harold McMillan at (512)  477-9438 or visit our us at
Press quality images available upon request

About the artists
Fresh Black Paint 2010 ~ Artists Information

Arleen Polite
Arleen Polite (born/from Palatka, Florida) graduated from Florida School of the Arts (1982) and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Printmaking from Atlanta College of Art (1984).  In 1988, she joined the U.S. Peace Corps and served in the Philippines.  Polite continued her studies at The University of Texas at Austin, enrolling in the Master of Fine Arts program (1998 - 2000).

Polite works with woodcut and mezzo-tint printmaking techniques, creating works inspired by her interest in animal and plant life.  In Austin, she conducts printmaking workshops for the Austin Museum of Art, Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Dougherty Arts Center.  She has completed several commissions in Austin, including a series of woodcuts for St. James Episcopal Church and a six-paneled mural for Wheatsville Food Co-op.
Polite has exhibited in Worth Repeating: Multiple Originals by African American Women at StoneMetal Press Gallery in San Antonio (2003), and Mystic-Africa: The Arts of Arleen Polite and Yaw Owusu Shangofemi at Bellamy Road Art Gallery in Melrose, Florida (2007).  In Austin, she has exhibited at Women & Their Work, Mexic-Arte Museum, and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library, which published the accompanying catalogue, Our New Day Begun: African American Artists Entering the Millennium (2000).

John A. Yancey
The John D. Murchison Professor in Art, John Yancey received his B.F.A. degree in painting and drawing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1980. Upon graduation, he pursued an independent art career for eleven years before receiving the prestigious Patricia Roberts Harris Fellowship which enabled him to enroll in graduate school at Georgia Southern University where he received his M.F.A. in 1993. Professor Yancey’s work focuses in three main areas: paintings on canvas, board, or paper; community-based mural painting; and ceramic tile mosaic public art monuments. He directed his first community-based mural in 1976 and has completed numerous public art projects and commissions since that time. His murals are extensively featured in Walls of Heritage, Walls of Pride: African American Murals 1850-1995, Robin Dunitz and James Prighoff; Urban Art: Chicago; Olivia Gude and Jeff Huebner. His most recent projects include permanent public artworks for the Austin Convention Center, The Henry B. Gonzales Convention Center of San Antonio, and the monumental History and Culture Artwall that will occupy the landscaped plaza at 11th and Waller Streets as part of the restoration and revitalization of this historic street on Austin’s East Side. In addition to his public art projects, Yancey continues to exhibit his paintings and drawings in gallery and museum venues. Professor Yancey has also lectured extensively on various aspects of African American art history at the Art Institute of Chicago, The Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago, The Dallas Art Museum, Waterloo Museum of Art, Austin Museum of Art, and numerous other museum venues.

Nailah I. Akinyémi-Sankofa
“The artistic image is not intended to represent the thing itself, but rather, the force the reality of the force the thing contains.”
                                                                                — Leopold Senghor
“Every aspect of my life is infused with creating. I have always been fascinated by and drawn to the diversities of art, especially as they relate to life and authentic-Afrikan cultures — or are translated through them.  I am driven to perpetuate art whether I am being stimulated by my own unceasing creative processes, or by cultivating it in other artists.  I tend to work in several disciplines, mediums, techniques and styles — usually at the same time. No matter what form the medium takes, I am comforted by, and blessed with the creative abilities and drive to take what life has to offer me and transform it — thrive for it and through it — art. And, always culture.”

Nailah I. Akinyémi-Sankofa is originally from Chicago where she studied Interior Design and Fine Art at Columbia College. Nailah transplanted to Texas in 1982 via Louisiana. She is a professional/independent multidisciplinary visual artist, designer, a published writer, poet, dancer and choreographer.  Her primary discipline is as a visual artist and designer (specializing in custom furniture, interior and fashion accessories).  She founded her own studio, Design Works!studios in 1985 as well as several other enterprises over the last 24 years.  Nailah prides herself in being one of only four Afrikan female metal smiths in Austin.  In 1994, Nailah also established and became the artistic director of Rhythm/Rituals Afrikan Performance Group. She has taught private Afrikan dance  classes and community workshops for over 15 years.  Nailah has also designed and created costumes, choreography and sets for numerous performances and events throughout Austin.  She was the co-founder and Chief of TRIBES: Black Artist Support Network and Co-op from 1990 to 1996. She founded TiWanTiWa: Abibiman Adulawo Artisans Network in 2008 and, most recently, the co-founder of Calabash Groves Afrikan Co-op Gardens.  She has taken a long hiatus from completing the final work on her degree in Studio Art at the University of Texas at Austin as well as one degree in Engineering Design Graphics Program from Austin Community College. 

For the past sixteen years Nailah has been an Ifa/Yoruba and Akan devotee and traditional teacher and naturopath. She is one of few “organic” ritual specialists and cultural artisans in this region who creates the traditional ceremonial works and implements within a Yoruba, Akan, KiKongo and other West Afrikan traditional contexts.

Nailah has organized and curated several art exhibits and has exhibited her works in local art spaces, as well as, major arts facilities outside of Austin.  She is the niece of acclaimed Harlem Renaissance artist Robert S. Pious. Nailah is a community and cultural activist.  Nailah’s primary goal in her artwork, studies, activism and event productions is to bring and maintain organic -traditional Afrikan ancestral cultural and historical aesthetics and identity.  As a multidisciplinary artist she says—
“Dance sets me free, painting grounds m; design humbles me; music is the cosmic breathe, which
saves — replenishes my life/soul and hopes; writing is the medicine that relieves my burdens
and allows my wounds to heal — [Afrikan] Ancestral culture is my net, my roots, my blood, my breath, my destiny…”

Ketu'Rah Glore
Artist Statement:
With these abstract eyes I have been creating my own reflection of reality since I was a child.  I am gifted and blessed with the talent to express myself visually and artistically — Surreal Abstract.  My paintings are inspired by life and the experiences it has shown me. I  have my own style, concept and interpretation of abstract art that I hope everyone can relate to and enjoy...
>From San Diego and Atlanta to New York and Europe, Ketu'Rah Glore has been traveling much of her life before deciding to make Killeen, Texas the location of her first home in 2007.  Ketu'Rah has been painting since the age of 14, originally inspired and mentored by artists such Maurice Evans and Grace Kisa.  While Ketu'Rah is currently enrolled in the Computer Draft and Design program at Austin's ITT Technical College, she has been working as a professional artist for several years and considers herself to be a self-taught artist.

Ketu'Rah considers her style to be ”ethnic abstract” and universally beautiful mixed media." In addition to being a prolific painter, Ketu'Rah was awarded The Golden Toad Award for her painting 1977 and voted The People's Choice in the Killeen Spring Art Competition. KETU'RAH has also been appointed the biographical candidate to represent Killeen, Texas in the Cambridge Who's Who Among Executive and Professional Women. (2006-2007)

"If 'abstract  art' is too intense to understand then you should just appreciate it for its beauty and the emotions it invokes."

Kelly Jo Stafford
Kelly Jo Stafford is currently serving in the United States Armed Forces in Germany.  She was born in Compton, California.  She developed a love for painting as a child.  Her mediums are mainly water colors and acrylics.  She attended grade school in Los Angeles, California where she participated in painting for various school projects.  She earned an Associated in Arts degree in Chemical Technology from Los Angeles Trade Technical College.  Her other artistic interest include playing the violin, and photography.

Robert R. (Bob) Jones
Bob Jones is a graphic designer and illustrator. He started drawing and painting at age six.  While attending High School in Texas, he entered a state competitive art contest and placed second to receive a scholarship to attend Texas State University where he graduated with a B.S. Degree in Commercial Art.

His artwork, influenced by extensive study of family roots and southern lifestyles, has allowed his paintings to be shown in galleries, museums and public spaces in major cities in Texas.

Living in the gateway to the beautiful Hill Country, San Marcos, TX and having two children, many ideas and illustration ideas come from observing them when they were young children.  Also, being from a small town, "where growing up was a simple pleasure", lends special memories to each of the prints and drawings that he has produced.

With a variety of logos, illustrations, and fine artwork over many states, his most successful creation is the recent logo change for the City of Austin Electric Utility (currently "Austin Energy").  His work has had his work displayed in downtown Austin on Congress Avenue for the pass 10 years during Black History Month in the form of street banners. These historical street banners are in recognition of selected local  professional-African Americans that contributed their skills and talents to furthering the black experience in city and state.

 Please feel free to visit his site at "" soon to be""


date:23 Jul 2016

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