EXPLORING CARIBBEAN ROOTS AT AKWAABA GALLERY


Victor Davson, Artist

Many of us of Caribbean ancestry or birth who live and work in the USA or the UK maintain links with the region, either through extended family, business, or as visitors. For those who no longer have such connections there may be family stories or even heirlooms which somewhat bridge the gap between the experiences in the Caribbean and North America or Europe. These remnants of our history are sometimes romanticized, while others may cause links to be severed as the memories could be harsh or certainly not always pleasant.

Our eight chosen artists have all spent their formative years in their countries of origin and most of their adult lives in the metropolises of New York and London. They have all maintained a relationship with the region, some closer than others. However, it is undeniable that their creative work is enhanced by the rich experiences of their upbringing in the Caribbean, their transition to life in the metropolis, and the collective memories of the extended family, spiritual connections which take us all the way back to the African source. They speak with a visual language which encapsulates those connections while exploring the realities of everyday life in the Metropolis.

Victor Davson, Artist

The gallery is located at 509 S. Orange Avenue, Newark, NY 07103; and will host Artists’ Talks on Friday, August 30 and September 20. The exhibition will close on September 30. Special thanks to Cockspur Fine Barbados Rum.

Diogenes Basllester

Akwaaba Gallery opened its doors on February 15, 2019. Akwaaba's owners, Laura Z. Bonas Palmer and her husband Ray Palmer purchased and renovated the building which houses the gallery, four lofts and a mailbox store. Determined to be a part of building their community, Laura and Ray, both Caribbean Immigrants, opened the first Art Gallery to the Newark West Ward. Akwaaba Gallery is a hidden Newark gem located in the historic Fairmount neighborhood and features diverse works of contemporary art. Akwaaba's mission is to engage the the community and public with Exhibitions featuring emerging local, national and international artists. "Origins: Memories from the Metropolis" is the fourth Akwaaba Exhibit and a poignant tribute to Caribbean artists living in the Metropolis.

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