'Black Matter' is set for June 22 through July 31 in Parrish Gallery at the cultural center.

COURTESY PHOTO: CCC - Headlined 'Black Matter, the exhibit at the Chehalem Cultural Center will feature the work of more than a dozen artists in myriad media.

America is in the midst of a national discussion on the role people of color, particularly Blacks, play in society as a sometimes violent political war is waged across the land. The role of culture is part of that discussion and can sometimes be seen in the art that results.

To that end, the Chehalem Cultural Center will soon stage an exhibit that showcases contemporary Black artists from Oregon in "an effort to address an imbalance in representation," according to a release.

"Their voices should be heard, not because they are Black, (but) because they are talented artists with unique life experiences," the release continued. "It is essential to lift up the contributions of Black artists above systematic oppression in life and in art."

Headlined "Black Matter," the exhibit will feature the work of more than a dozen artists in myriad media, including Zina Allen, John Adair, Jolie Brownell, Jamila Clarke, Janique Crenshaw, Jeremy Okai Davis, Santigie, Sapata Fofana Dura, Kiana Kinchelow, Rinee Merritt, Keeva Moselle, Christine Miller, Danial Patillo, Maya Vivas, Christina Wickstein and Mosley Wotta.

"The goal of the exhibition is to broaden cultural awareness of and appreciation for art by Black artists in Oregon," the release said. "This exhibit offers black artists the opportunity to share artwork that expresses what's in their hearts and minds without the requirement of a political agenda.

"Black artists are continuously expected to make art about race, racism and social injustice. The artwork in this exhibition expresses more than their experience of living in a state and country rooted in systematic racism; their work speaks to the experience of being human."

The exhibit will first be displayed from May 6 through June 17 at The Arts Center in Corvallis before makings its way north to Newberg for the show at the CCC from June 22 through July 31 in the Parrish Gallery. The show will be curated by Tammy Jo Wilson, an artist from Oregon City who is co-founder and president of Art in Oregon, a nonprofit organization founded to "foster culturally rich regional communities through partnerships, advocacy and investment in artists, businesses, educational spaces and community spaces," the release said. The exhibit is supported via a grant from the Yamhill County Cultural Trust.

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