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Feb 4 - April 25, 2021

Please note: all artwork featured in this exhibit is for sale. Works by Clayton, Bluett, and all artists involved are included below.

This exhibit, in partnership with Black Space Black Art, showcases the work of six Kansas City artists under the collective, Black Space Black Art. Below is an excerpt of the exhibit's description, written by its curator, Natashia Ria El-Scari:

Jazz is now. Everything was fresh and different, turbulent, annoying and the winds of change were blowing America over. Just like now. Five of the artists in this exhibit are fresh out of the experience of installing the country’s largest and simultaneous six street murals with the simple yet clear phrase, "BLACK LIVES MATTER," on the streets of Kansas City, a city divided by race, class and history. It is in the spirit of right now, art as right now, Jazz as right here and now, Black Space Black Art presents, in partnership with the American Jazz Museum: Jazz and the Black Aesthetic.

Black Space Black Art was founded by Natasha Ria El-Scari in 2017 with the sole purpose of moving African American visual art and artists at the center of the conversation. The idea was to remind, particularly African Americans that Black art not only mattered but that it is a necessity to be surrounded by it in order to survive the systemic impact of racism which includes the ridicule and bastardization of the art and culture of oppressed groups. BSBA used barber shops, beauty salons other black owned businesses and ally businesses to display and sell the original work of six KC artists at different stages in their career. To date, hundreds of paintings have been sold, commissioned in homes, schools, churches and more.

The Women in Jazz series focuses on the contribution and the education about women in Jazz. Mostly known for vocal and dance skills, women Jazz musicians are small in number and often largely ignored. The women who supported the great Jazz figures of the past are often unknown by many and even villainized for radical behavior and thought through the patriarchal story telling of Jazz. Artists Adrianne Clayton and Vivian Wilson Bluett present their stories with revision—new life. This exhibit within an exhibit challenges the silence and erasure of women in and grapples with the intersectionality of race and gender.

 

Adrianne Clayton, BSBA Founding Member

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Vivian Bluett, BSBA Founding Member

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Avrion Jackson, BSBA Member

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Warren Harvey, BSBA Founding Member

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Lynell Diggs, BSBA Founding Member

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Harold Smith, BSBA Founding Member

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