The exhibit will be presented virtually through March 5.
The three groups collaborated to present this year’s exhibit, which solicited work from artists of African descent throughout the state of Florida.
(Sarasota-Manatee, FL; January 22, 2021) Art Center Sarasota (ACS), The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), and the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative (SBAC) recently announced the winners of the 2021 “Black Muse” exhibition. The three groups collaborated to present this year’s exhibit, which solicited work from artists of African descent throughout the state of Florida. The exhibit was juried by Elizabeth Goodwill, MFA, education director for Art Center Sarasota; and artist and SBAC board member Alyssia Lazin. The winning works will be presented virtually on all three organization’s websites through March 5. Visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org, www.artsarasota.org and www.asalh-manasotafl.org.
The $1,000 first prize award went to Krystle Lemonias, a Jamaican-born artist who lives and works in Tampa. The $750 second prize award was given to Jesse Clark, A Haitian-American photographer and Ringing College of Art and Design student. Honorable mentions went to Cora Marshall of St. Peterburg; Musa Kunene, a Swaziland-born student at Ringling College of Art and Design; and Greg Rumph, vice principal at Riverview High School in Sarasota.
“We are delighted with the results of our outreach. By collaborating with colleges and universities in Tampa, St. Petersburg, the Sarasota-Manatee region and as far north at Jacksonville, we were able to attract young, emerging artists,” says Michéle Des Verney Redwine, the president and founder of the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative. “In essence, we have created a social movement to engage new Black talent throughout our state.”
First Prize: Krystle Lemonias, a Jamaican-born printmaker, who is a graduate student at USF in Tampa, tells the story of the contributions and role Black immigrant women have played in America’s workforce in her work. In her artist’s statement, Lemonias says that immigrant Black communities have contributed richly to the workforce in the U.S., “despite the systemic inequalities they face. My artwork explores these women’s contributions that play such an integral role in the function of our society despite the obstacles in their environments.” Her winning works are entitled: “Portrait of the Present” (woodblock print on fabric); and “Eeh, Hole Still!” (woodblock print on fabric). Visit www.krystlelemonias.com.
Second Prize: Jesse Clark is a Haitian-American fine art photographer who attends Ringling College of Art and Design as a Presidential Scholar for the Photography and Imaging BFA major. Clark began his studies in visual art at Harrison School for the Arts in Lakeland and graduated in 2019. He was the first photographer to be awarded first place in the Florida State Fair High School Portfolio Exhibition. Clark often covers issues of social injustice and how society sees Black males in his work. He works to inspire other artists to use their voice and to help move the world forward through positive change. His winning works are entitled: “Distractions” and “Up Against the World.” Visit www.jesseclarkart.com.
The mission of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History is to promote, research, preserve, interpret, and disseminate information about Black life, history, and culture to the global community. “Black Muse” is the organization’s signature visual art event which has been presented at Art Center Sarasota for the past 11 years. This is the first year financial awards have been given in a juried exhibition.
Art Center Sarasota is a membership-based organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions free and open to the public, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota’s mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities. Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. It was founded in 1926 as the “Sarasota Art Association” by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County school district. In the early years, the group met monthly and sponsored exhibits in rented facilities. The Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. This year marks the Art Center’s 95th year serving the Sarasota community. Visit www.artsarasota.org.
About the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative
The Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative is a nonprofit organization in Sarasota-Manatee, FL. Its mission is to advocate for greater exposure to African-American artists and artists of African descent throughout the greater Sarasota-Manatee region and to provide educational forums and symposia to expose area residents, visitors, students, and others to the work of these artists. Visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org.