Johnny Coleman Artist Talk

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Johnny Coleman Artist Talk
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Johnny Coleman Artist Talk says
Artist Johnny Coleman will be conducting a lecture on his exhibition "Homage: Regular Folk" currently on display at the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art through April 1.

Aritst Statement:

My work is centered upon themes of the crossroads: a focal point/threshold of challenge and transformation. For the last thirty years I have been composing spaces activated as prayers: requests for guidance, conscious statements of intent, and thanksgiving. For me, to speak from one's own experience is to empower one's self-creation. Memory, observation, and imagination are resources that I draw upon: images emerge from within the day to day. My process involves marking materials and spaces with time spent: working, writing, and speaking through the voices that form and inform me. I bind layered narrative passages together with functional and symbolic references to personal, and cultural history. I am working in a sculptural format that integrates the dramatic presentation of a stage set, with the oral tradition of storytelling, while consciously focusing upon private spaces that sometimes exist in the absence of a performer.

I carefully select materials that function as witnesses: recovered old growth wood, unprocessed bees wax, stone, reclaimed fabric; and call upon them as a sentient energy and reminder of the resilience of those who came before me.

In this project, "Homage: Regular Folk", I am reflecting upon a number of artists who have deeply informed me as a human being striving toward consciousness. I thank each of them with my whole heart. Here for the first time in twenty years, I am exhibiting individual sculptures alongside a new installation, designed for the N'Namdi Center, and composed in celebration of the brilliant and beautiful,
Dr. Yusef Lateef.


Johnny Coleman is a sculptor and installation artist. He has created sound installations for “Material Witness” (MOCA Cleveland), “Onsite Ohio” (Akron Museum of Art), “Urban Evidence” (SPACES Gallery, Cleveland), “inSITE 94” (Santa Fe Depot, San Diego), Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, El Centro Cultural (San Diego, CA), Randolph Street (Chicago, Ill), California Center for the Arts (Escondido, CA), The Sculpture Center (Cleveland, OH.), and David Zapf Gallery. Additionally, he has performed on stage at BAM, Majestic Theater: Next Wave Festival 96, and his work is included in the permanent collection of The San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, The California Center for the Arts, and extensive private collections. Over the last twenty five years, he has worked collaboratively with a range of poets, dancers, and visual artists throughout the U.S.

Johnny Coleman holds a joint appointment between Africana Studies and Studio Art at Oberlin College.
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By: N'Namdi Center For Contemporary Art

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