Jamaal Sheats curates TOPOGRAPHY exhibition at Tinney Contemporary

My Big Black America, Wesley Clark, 2015; 10' x 16' salvaged and stained wood

My Big Black America, Wesley Clark, 2015; 10′ x 16′ salvaged and stained wood

Tinney Contemporary presents Topography, curated by Fisk University’s Jamaal B. Sheats, from October 3rd to November 28th. Topography is an exhibition that uses art to explore communities across the United States. Within these communities are layers—and Topography focuses on the context of memory, individuality, community cohesion, and characteristics of social and economic (in)equalities that collectively create layers of a conceptual topographical map.

Jamaal B. Sheats is a native of Brentwood, Tennessee. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in Art from Fisk University in 2002, Sheats founded Sheats Repousse’, where he specializes in metal relief sculpture. While Sheats has a love for art, he has a passion for art education, and has been a guest lecturer at many Universities across the nation. In 2011, Sheats received his MFA in Studio Art from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Art-Boston (SMFA). He was one of five “Artists to Watch” in the Boston Globe and one of the “Shaping the Next Generation of Artist” in the Nashville Scene. He is currently the Director and Curator of the Fisk University Galleries and Assistant Professor in the Fisk University Art Department.

Sheats will show a piece of Repousse’ which is metal relief sculpture. As the curator, it is fitting that Sheats’s work encapsulates the themes of mapping and memory very well. If you think of a topographical map, the dynamic surface helps one navigate the area in which they are even more definitively. The diversity of the medium of the works gives that dynamism to the concepts held within this exhibition and helps the installation “operate like the pieces of a puzzle—with each layered together to create a conceptual topographical map,” according to Sheats.

Wesley Clark’s piece “My Big Black America,” is made out of reclaimed wood. In this piece, Clark accentuates the cultural effect that Barack Obama has had upon the United States. Whether you agree on political grounds or not, it is hard to say that Obama has not been a positive inspiration for many cultural groups across the nation. The old wood reflects those black men and women from which the foundation of America was created, and the new generation is represented through the newer wood, presenting the new surface of America.

Clark grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and currently resides in Hyattsville, Maryland. He received his BFA from Syracuse University in 2001 and his MFA from George Washington University in 2012.

Jamea Richmond-Edwards’ “Cost of Making her Rise” is composed of ink and charcoal on board. Alicia Henry’s “Untitled: Analogous” is constructed with leather, dye, acrylic, yarn and thread. Alfred Conteh also used wood along with oxy dough, EPS foam, steel wire, thermo-adhesive fabric, atomized steel dust, atomized bronze bust, urethane plastic, and acrylic to create “Conduit.”

Meet the artists at the Closing Reception on November 7th, 6 to 9 pm during the First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown.