CityArts PROVIDES ENRICHING ENVIROMENT

Kayla Hernandez / Valencia Voice
Kayla Hernandez / Valencia Voice

By Piel Thach
Valencia Voice

Why not free your imagination and take time to reflect and be inspired by fine visual arts? Take a break from your daily hustle and visit the CityArts Factory, located on 29 South Orange Avenue

Through Feb. 14, the community art center presents the Art Noir. This exhibit showcases local African American artists displaying an array of genres of paintings and sculptures. The admission is free, so there’s nothing to lose but a good time.

As visitors walk pass the coffee shop, conveniently connected in front of the gallery, it is obvious that they are in for a treat.

The CityArts Factory is separated into five different galleries, including a bar and dance floor upstairs. Each gallery setting is different matching the genre of art being displayed. The first paintings shown are by notable artist, Everett Spruill.

The bright colors of classic jazz figures display the tradition of African-American art. Up for sale for thousands of dollars, his work remains valuable and current. “It seems I’m inspired simply by being alive,” said Spruill.

“My work is a celebration of life. It’s even more inspiring to know people really love my work and knowing I’ve left the world a thing of beauty that will be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Though he is the key artist of the gallery, the works of other locals are captivating as well.

A vast and dark section of the gallery showcases urban art. It was surprising to see different elements of hip-hop represented in these paintings. Using mostly acrylic and oil, local artist, Tre, displayed vibrant paintings of rappers, DJ’s, graffiti filled brick walls, and other elements that scream hiphop.

It is refreshing to see vocal art being represented by other forms of art. One painting that catches one’s attention is named, “Underworld” by local artist Marcellus “Nesoe” Walker. “Underworld” takes place in a dark tunnel with bodies of people, some dancing, some on the ground with X’s on their eyes. It seems this contemporary piece depicts how drugs and the nightlife go hand in hand.

The message that was portrayed was striking, but of course, you’ll have to come see for yourself to gain your own interpretation.

Manny Ramirez, a 21 year old aspiring artist, states, “I admire the edgy work and it kind of motivates me to be more creative with my own stuff.”

Upstairs provides contemporary African- American art by dozens of artists, both local and national. While looking at the same paintings, Gina Palacios, a 22 year old downtown resident says, “These paintings are powerful, where I can see the feelings and also the stories they tell behind them.

With African-American Art, there’s a display of struggle with overcoming but also a celebration of how far they have gotten over the years in America.

” Let visual arts expand your horizon because a picture can speak a thousand words. Meet new friends
and see fine art at the CityArts Factory.