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On February 4, 40 giving artists go big

MAITEFA ANGAZA | 4/12/2011, 5:32 p.m.
On February 4, 40 giving artists go big

"This project has mushroomed into something beyond my wildest dreams!" said Dr. Primm. "It is a magnificent response to the need of artists to express themselves in mural format. They're leaving a legacy that contributes to this corporation's commitment to our culture."

Director of Public Affairs Charles Bailey is overseeing this initiative along with Project Coordinator Wendy Jones. Lead artist-in-residence Emmett Wigglesworth conceived and curated the show along with artist-in-residence Ogundipe Fayomi. Artists Herb Bennett, Betty Blayton and Che Baraka also serve on the steering committee. "Artists Speaking for the Spirits" will feature a second group of artists this summer. Their work will remain on view until the end of the year.

Entertainment for the opening reception will be provided by singer-guitarist Vivian Ara and her band, along with the great trombonist Dick Griffin. (Ara and Griffin are also participating visual artists.)

In an exciting late development, a free shuttle bus will take celebrants to MoCADA (Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts) to view their exhibition, "The Gentrification of Brooklyn: The Pink Elephant Speaks," opening the same evening. Visitors at MoCADA will be able to board the bus as it returns and join the festivities at "Artists Speaking for the Spirits."

Opening weekend hours are: Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Audiences will enjoy artist talks at 4 p.m. each Sunday in February. First up is "New Beginnings," in which artists new to the mural painting process examine what the experience has meant to them and how they see their work progressing following the experience. There will also be a discussion about great muralists of color in our history and what it means to be a muralist today.

The remaining Black History Month schedule is: Thursday-Friday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors and school groups are welcome by appointment. For info and to RSVP for the opening reception, call (718) 260-2909 or visit www.artcurian.org. Arthur Bennett Hall is located at 22 Chapel Street near Jay Street, between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.