Hearne celebrates 29 years with Alfred Conteh, Adger Cowans, John Biggers and more | Rock Candy

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Hearne celebrates 29 years with Alfred Conteh, Adger Cowans, John Biggers and more

Posted By on Tue, Aug 1, 2017 at 10:20 AM

click to enlarge Alfred Conteh, "Faruq and Nasir," 2017, mixed media, 40" x 26"
  • Alfred Conteh, "Faruq and Nasir," 2017, mixed media, 40" x 26"


Hearne Fine Art, 1001 Wright Ave., is celebrating its 29th year in business with an exhibition of works by dozens of important African American artists, both home-grown and national. Among the artists is Alfred Conteh, whose work is shown above; here's an excerpt from a biography of the artist provided by the gallery:
As a working artist, Conteh continues to develop his craft and considers himself a student of history. His personal experiences have sparked new energy toward addressing social issues impacting black communities that he has not touched before. "In my most recent works I advocate for entrepreneurship. Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, and Malcolm X taught us that our empowerment lies in our economic base. We haven't actualized it. I've tried to express that, making the unseen, seen," he says.

Conteh contends that very little is taught about African art history, particularly among aspiring artists of color on the university level. He aims to use his art as a platform for dialogue that encourages other artists to learn about themselves and share their stories more boldly. "It's problematic when our greatest aspiration is to seek accolades based on what the dominant culture sees worthy of awarding you. We have to see value in ourselves." A classically trained artist, Conteh aspires to tell a deeper and sometimes grayer story about black people in America, stretching beyond traditional images depicting slavery, church, and romantic relationships. What most excites him is the reaction to his creations over time. "I make my work for my people," he says. "I want to appeal to African Americans and encourage them to be stewards of our culture and history."

Others in "XXIX Prime" include Adger Cowans; Alvin Roy; Artis Lane; Brenda Joysmith; Chukes; Ed Dwight; Frank Frazier; John Biggers; Kennith Humphrey; Latoya Hobbs, formerly of Little Rock; Manuel Hughes; Marjorie Williams-Smith of Little Rock; Paul Goodnight; Rex DeLoney of Little Rock;  Samella Lewis; Wade Hampton, formerly of Little Rock; Anthony Lee; Basil Watson; Charly Palmer; Dean Mitchell; Ernest Withers; George Hunt; Kadir Nelson; Kevin Cole, formerly of Pine Bluff; Louise Mandumbwa; Marion Epting; Nelson Stevens; Phoebe Beasley; Robert Carter; TAFA; and William Tolliver.

The show runs through Sept. 5.

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