Impactful Black figures like the late Nipsey Hussle, Kendrick Lamar, and the late Kobe Bryant have had a major influence on many including the Passaic artist, Malik Hill who envisions hope, change, and progress within art and expression throughout not only Black communities, but also their culture. 

“Black art is very much necessary within my culture,” Hill told Pix11 News, “and it’s not seen enough.”

In Paterson’s Black History Month art exhibit, Malik Hill is one of the artists whose work will be featured in the exhibit that features historical Black figures and events from the past and present that have impacted the lives of many. Hill’s featured work hones in on a variety of impactful elements, including the importance of mental health, as he is an Army veteran who currently lives with PTSD.

“This painting in particular, I wanted to capture the multiple types of emotions that I go through on a weekly or daily basis,” Hill explained. 

Christopher Fabor Muhammad, an art teacher who teaches at Paterson’s International High School shared that a few of his students’ artwork was featured throughout the exhibit’s gallery and acted as an outlet that allowed students to express themselves: “We still need art to be used as a way of expression, a way of healing and a weapon against many of the struggles we face, whether it’s internal or external.”

There is a significance behind sharing and acknowledging one’s cultural expression, reflection, and the messages that are artistically created by those in the black community…“It’s very necessary for both the artists and the Black culture as a whole,” said Hill. 

“The mini museum,” is what the Mayor of Paterson Andre Sayegh calls it, is a story that must be told and heard…“We’ve never had anything on this level here in front of my office,” said Sayegh.

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