Arts Center

The Johns Creek Arts Center will feature works by African American artists, including, from right, “The Blood We Shed to Nourish the Beast” by Jasmine Nicole Williams, “From Where I Stand” by Jerushia Graham, “For the Love of You” by Jamaal Barber and works by Eleanor Neal.

JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — The Johns Creek Art Center’s newest exhibit, “And Still We Rise,” features work by African American artists in a variety of printmaking styles.  

This is the center’s 6th year featuring black artists around February in honor of Black History Month. The exhibit will run through Feb. 24. 

This year the exhibit focuses on printmaking and will feature a variety of styles, including woodcut, linocut, intaglio, screen painting, monoprints and mixed media. The show features 15 artists, many from the Atlanta area, and 51 pieces. 

“A lot of them are related to black history and the African American experience,” Curator Althea Foster said. “But there are also some people who are working more abstractly, so there is really something for most people.”

The name of the exhibit, “And Still We Rise,” comes from the Maya Angelou poem “Still I Rise,” which deals with overcoming adversity as a black woman. 

“You may write me down in history, with your bitter, twisted lies, you may trod me in the very dirt, but still, like dust, I’ll rise,” the poem begins. 

Foster said the poem was fitting because these printmakers have risen to prominence in a world where it is hard to find success in the arts. 

“It’s very difficult to make a living in art, and it’s probably even more problematic if you’re an artist of color,” she said. “And still, there’s such a long legacy of African Americans in the arts, so in spite it all, they ‘still rise.’” 

There was an opening reception Jan. 26. The closing reception will be Sunday, Feb. 24 at 12:30 p.m. and include an artist talk with South Cobb printmaker Jamaal Barber. These events are free and open to the public. 

Barber, a North Carolina native, moved to Atlanta in 2004 and began printmaking in 2013 after seeing a screen printing demo at a local art store. He has featured at the ZuCot Gallery, Decatur Arts Festival and Atlanta Print Biennial Show.  

“My art makes social commentary about black life and black identity,” Barber said in an artist statement. “I explore all aspects of black life in America from the nostalgic reverence of small town, Southern life to the societal forces that shape modern urban life across the country.”

The Johns Creek Arts Center is at 6290 Abbotts Bridge Road, Building 700. The center and the exhibit are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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