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Black History Made as 40 Artists Paint Murals and Give Back

BROOKLYN, N.Y., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Black history will be made on Thursday, February 4th at Arthur Bennett Hall in Brooklyn with the opening of "Artists Speaking for the Spirits," an exhibition of mural-sized paintings by 40 artists of African ancestry. The show, thought to be the largest of its kind involving artists of color, is the premier project of ARTCURIAN, a groundbreaking movement in which artists and social agencies collaborate to deliver services to those in need. Trombonist Dick Griffin will perform at the opening, along with singer/guitarist Vivian Ara and her band. (Ara and Griffin are also participating visual artists.)


Among the established and emerging artists participating are: James Denmark, Otto Neals, Betty Blayton, Emmett Wigglesworth, Stanwyck Cromwell, Dindga McCannon, Che Baraka, Ademola Olugebefola, Herbert Bennett, Ramona Candy, Wilda Gonzalez, Robert Daniels and others. Their work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Studio Museum in Harlem, National Museum of Ghana, Spellman College, Sidney Poitier, David Rockefeller and others.

ARTCURIAN organizers introduced the healing power of art into the various therapeutic settings at the Addiction Research and Treatment Corporation and its affiliate, Urban Resource Institute (ARTC-URI). Artists were offered canvas, materials and studio space and are donating a significant percentage of sales to enhance the institution's services. Several artists are also conducting volunteer workshops for the developmentally disabled.

ARTC-URI are two of New York City's largest not-for-profit human service providers, operating 14 facilities. ARTC delivers medical and support services to thousands battling addiction and its related diseases, including HIV/AIDS and mental illness. URI operates a city-wide transportation network for the disabled, job training, placement services and group homes for the developmentally disabled, and the city's second-largest emergency residence for families endangered by domestic violence. Beny J. Primm, M.D., ARTC executive director and president of URI, is a longtime collector who made possible this artful collaboration.

Opening weekend exhibition hours are: Fri, 11-5, Sat and Sun 3-6. Audiences will enjoy artist talks at 4 p.m. each Sunday in February. First up is "New Beginnings," a talk with artists new to mural-painting and discussion of great muralists of color in history. The remaining Black History Month schedule is: Thurs-Fri 11-5 and Sun 3-6. Visitors and school groups are welcome by appointment. For info and to RSVP for the opening reception, call 718-260-2909 or visit Arthur Bennett Hall is located at 22 Chapel Street near Jay St., between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. 




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