Uptown will welcome its latest art exhibit, Fire & Soul 2022: “We’re Still Harlem” at the Heath Gallery on Saturday, March 12. The exhibit is sponsored by ArtCrawl Harlem, an organization dedicated to promoting arts/culture and education in the local community.

The exhibit is the second edition of Fire & Soul as the first edition was held in December of 2020. Co-curated by Saundra Heath, Heath Gallery director and co-owner, and Fable Jones Studios, “We’re Still Harlem” will feature the works of 10 artists in various forms, ranging from paintings to mixed media art.

“‘Fire and Soul 2022: We’re Still Harlem’ is really talking about Harlem as a model for any urban community of primarily Black and Brown people,” said Heath, who further explained that despite the political and economic turmoil experienced during the pandemic, the “fire and soul” of the community still exists. “We are still holding on to those things that make us unique and also able to navigate these circumstances because of certain things we look to, and that’s what you’ll see reflected in the work.”

Heath said she and Fable Jones Studios conducted an open call for the artists and viewed their artwork and art bios to determine whether these factors would reflect the portrayal of the exhibit.
While the Heath Gallery strives to portray diversity and inclusion in all of its exhibits, Heath describes “We’re Still Here” as a “continuum” of the gallery’s typical presentations.

“We are always looking to make sure that we are speaking to the Harlem community first, and making sure that the community has in Heath Gallery, a space where they are welcome,” said Heath.
Heath explained that while the image of “fire and soul” may sound like something extravagant and striking, the idea of this exhibit is to portray something that is quite the opposite.

“In this exhibit, we are looking at the contemplative side of who we are—what happens in the quiet spaces that allow people to gather themselves, to regroup; to reconsider; converse and connect.”

“We’re Still Harlem” will open at 2 p.m. on Saturday and wraps up April 2. Heath Gallery is located at 24 West 120th Street in Harlem, open Tuesday to Saturday. For more information about the gallery and the exhibit, visit artcrawlharlem.org.

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