CHARCOAL: Strokes of Vitality

Noé Barnett
Nikesha Breeze
Karsten Creightney
Kianah Jay
Paula Wilson

November 4 December 11

Exhibition Catalogue

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Press Release

Richard Levy Gallery is pleased to present CHARCOAL: Strokes of Vitality, a group exhibition of Black artists working in New Mexico today. Curated by Kianah Jay, this show aims to expand Black spaces of celebration within the fine art community. This is essential in healing the wounds of structural racism and advocating for marginalized peoples in a measurable way. Each artist plays an important role in their respective communities and are invaluable key figures in the New Mexico arts community at large.

Noé Barnett is an emerging painter and important muralist in Albuquerque. He uses his work to build bridges between polarized communities and works with light as both a subject and a medium.

Nikesha Breeze recreates rare daguerreotypes of Black subjects at human scale as a way to impart honor and recognition to Black ancestors. In doing so, she aspires to heal trauma along ancestral lines by reimagining the past to redesign the future. Breeze is a co-founder of Earthseed Black Arts Alliance New Mexico, which supports Black, Indigenous, and People of Color artists working in northern New Mexico.

Karsten Creightney uses paint and collage to question mythologies of written history and to reconstruct problematic histories through a Black lens. He makes art as an inquiry by reassembling, reorganizing, and repurposing existing materials to present truths and possibilities that arise from the remnants of the past. Creightney is an assistant professor of art at the University of New Mexico.

Kianah Jay’s vibrant paintings depict the boundless feminine form. Originally a dancer, she blends her intuitive body knowledge with explosive color palettes, indigenous rhythms, and historical context. Jay is a co-founder of the FrienZone and a member of the Palace Collective.

Paula Wilson is a multimedia artist who uses paint, collage, film, installation, and printmaking as explorations of myth, race, gender, sexuality, and the natural world. There is no separation between art and life for Wilson, who makes all of her clothes and furniture with her partner. Wilson is a co-founder of MoMAZoZo and the Carrizozo Artist In Residency.

CHARCOAL includes a selection of performative videos by Breeze, Jay, and Wilson in which each artist uses their physical presence to empower and reclaim the Black narrative.

Images for this exhibition can be found on our website Follow us on Instagram and Facebook: @levygallery #CHARCOAL @twolipsmusic (Kianah Jay) @nb.artistry (Noe Barnett)  @paulalights (Paula Wilson) @nikeshabreeze #karstencreightney

Dates: November 4–December 11, 2020
Location: Online and by Appointment
Contact: 505.766.9888,, @levygallery