Black History Matters 365: Now and Forever, Opening Reception

Devon Keeley's picture

CAMBRIDGE – In light of Black History Month, Lesley University BFA students and alumni came together on Thursday evening for the opening reception of a black artist showcase.

The exhibition was a revisit of the February 2016 showcase, Black History Matters 365 created and organized by Percy Fortini-Wright, which sought to “reflect on black history, empowerment and pride.”

Six artists were featured in the Spotlight Gallery, located in the lower level of the Lunder Arts Center. Artists included Rocky Cotard, Elisandra Lopes, Jadzia Genece, Madalena Almeida Da Silva, Kuresse Bolds and Mosheh Tucker. Their work ranged from oil paintings to personal photographs.

While the showcase may be small its message is both important and impactful as it seeks to emphasize that “black history must be celebrated and observed every day of the year, not just during Black History Month.”

Kuresse Bolds, 21, is a senior illustration major at Lesley University. Bolds work is vibrant and he seeks to “break norms” in unique ways through his illustrations as he draws inspiration from other digital artists, such as Sachin Teng, Tomer Hanuka and Sergi Brosa. His digital print Black and Fem is featured in Black History Matters 365: Now and Forever and was previously featured in the January 2018 exhibition Displaced at the Aviary Gallery in Jamaica Plain.

Black and Fem seeks to “represent how one does not have to choose to express either their Blackness or femininity, but be able to be proud of both, simultaneously.” Bolds hopes that viewers of his piece will take away the message of being able to “embrace all facets of who they are equally instead of juggling them.”

The event was a part of the larger Come Celebrate Me Series hosted by Lesley University’s Diversity Counsel, the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Student Inclusion, LUCAD Office of Community Engagement, and Student Activities. The Come Celebrate Me Series seeks to showcase those of a variety of different identities and has hosted previous events on Indigenous Communities, Latinx Heritage and LGBTQ History.

Black History Matters 365: Now and Forever will be up in the Lunder Arts Center Spotlight Gallery, 1810 MAssachusetts Ave., and available for the public to view from Feb. 22 to March 3.