Exhibit showcases Afrocentrism

Danielle Klais, Arts & Rec Editor

Roberta’s Art Gallery hosted a reception for a new painting exhibit, “Bohemian Black”, by artist Sharon Bjyrd at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 20.

“Bohemian Black” celebrates the beauty and diversity among black women, depicting women of all ages and body shapes through acrylic paint and mixed media.

“I seek to offer an alternative view for society by recreating the effortlessly regal and vibrant manifestations of Afrocentrism that are underseen and which could replace the narrative of the black experience in America.

“My aim is to add colorful, beautiful human faces to the collective consciousness that can be called upon when thinking about black lives and our place in America today,” said Bjyrd.

Bjyrd was born and raised in Chicago, then attended UW-Madison to pursue social work and Afro-American studies. During her college years she suffered from sickle cell disease and Lupus, which eventually forced her to become homebound after graduation. While homebound, she reignited her passion for art through painting.

The gallery has over 15 pieces of art, most depicting young black women, but there are also paintings of children and men. Whether a monochromatic piece or a multimedia piece, the gallery attracts students from all backgrounds to admire the paintings.

“All the paintings are beautiful..I loved the monochromatic pieces- especially the ‘Lilith’ painting,” said Marya Cunningham, a UW-Whitewater sophomore.

The reception had light refreshments and went until 4:30 p.m. Many students attended the reception, enjoying the provided refreshments and upbeat atmosphere of the event.

“I think Roberta’s Art Gallery is all about conversation. We’re here to learn and have easy conversations, hard conversations, and I feel that no matter what type of art that is hosted within, the gallery can hold conversations. Right now, by having a culturally based artist, that sparks this conversation.     Just no matter what, being able to start conversations about people’s lives, what they’re going through, the places they travel. Anything like that, it can totally start here,” said Kate Amerling, Public Relations intern.

Bohemian Black is just one way to celebrate and honor Black History Month.

“Art is believed to be a universal language, and being a resource for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Roberta’s Art Gallery collaborates with students, campus departments, and student organizations,”  attending to Roberta’s Art Gallery.