Gallery 384 will display “Soulful of Art,” in celebration of Black History Month, through March 29, at the East Avenue Inn & Suites, 384 East Ave.
The show currently features art created by local African-American artists Dunstan Luke, Najhay Quick, Rich Bryant, and Elliott Luke, in connection with the observance.
“The concept is that people are concentrating on historical events,” the gallery’s volunteer director Howard Koft stated. “What contemporary artists are doing today will become black history tomorrow. Some is based on history. There’s a piece called the “Great Emancipation,” by Richard Bryant, which is really a wonderful piece. And, some of it is having to do with the trials of every day life today.”
Koft said the gallery operates independently of the hotel, and is currently hosting two-month shows, year-round, in the East Avenue Inn & Suites’ lobby and lower level.
Although he hasn’t yet decided on a theme for next year’s Black History Month gallery, Koft said he plans to grow the annual show, and, as the shows become more popular, he also plans to include more artists.
“I haven’t decided how I’m going to pursue it in the future yet, but, for now, anyway, I’m hoping to pursue it again next year with additional artists,” he stated.
Gallery 384 has been operating at the East Avenue Inn & Suites for the past two years, and, hotel general manager Joshua Strolis said he’s received nothing but positive feedback regarding the exhibit.
This is also the first year the Black History Month show has displayed work that has been exclusively created by black artists, Strolis stated.
“We’ve gotten a great response,” he said. “I started with the hotel a couple of years ago, and that’s kind of when we decided to start the gallery. We wanted to kind of showcase our local art. We’re going into our third year of doing it this year, and it’s just something we wanted to coincide with Black History Month. We’ve done Youth Month, and all kinds of other months. We thought it was time to reflect the area a little more.”
Gallery 384 is available for public viewing, at no cost, in the lobby and in the first floor hallways of the East Avenue Inn & Suites, during the hotel restaurant’s non-peak business hours, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday through Friday.
Visit http://www.eastaveinn.com/art for additional information regarding the gallery.