BY NATHAN DUKE
The Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) is hosting an exhibition titled “Peace And Love” to celebrate Black History Month in February.
The exhibit includes paintings, mixed-media works and sculptures by Joseph S. Bell-Bey, Karl A. McIntosh, Otto Neals, Donovan Nelson and Ann Tanksley.
“Each of the artists, in his or her way, has created works reflecting the African American experience, whether intentional or not, that has touched the viewers,” curator Otto Neals said. “And as we travel through the world, badly in need of solutions to its many problems, we hope with our art to find a path to peace and love.”
The exhibit debuted on Feb. 15 and will remain open until April 30. On March 24, JCAL will host an opening reception at 2 p.m., during which attendees can meet the artists whose work is on display.
Bell-Bey is a Vietnam War veteran who worked for the U.S. Postal Service for 36 years and served as president of Brooklyn Local of the American Postal Workers Union. Following a near-death experience in 2005, he began creating visual art. Just 20 months after he began to paint, Bell-Bey was featured in 21 art exhibitions across the nation—including ones at York College and the Great Neck Library.
McIntosh is a self-taught artist who works in pastel, watercolor, acrylic, stone, wood and metal, and often transforms found objects into works of art. He was born in Kingston, Jamaica, and moved to the United States at an early age. But he is also a poet, drummer and dancer who draws inspiration from African art and culture. His work is known for its bold, bright colors.
Neals is a painter, sculptor and printmaker who was born in Lake City, South Carolina, but moved to Brooklyn with his family. He is proficient in numerous mediums, including oils, watercolors, pastels, and wood and stone carving. He is the only artist who has taken part in JCAL’s exhibition every year since its inception. Neals is also a founding member of the Harlem-based group known as the Weusi Artists.
Nelson was born in Manchester, Jamaica, and relocated to the United States in 1982. He studied illustration at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and also studied portraiture and figure painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Nelson has taught art in the New York City public school system and shows his work at various galleries throughout the city. He also currently teaches at New York City College of Technology.
Tanksley has been following the African slave trade route in her travels, and her work reflects the emotional impact that she has absorbed. She is a Pittsburgh native who graduated from Carnegie Mellon University and has studied with such master artists as Norman Lewis, Balcom Greene and Sam Rosenberg.
JCAL’s Miller Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday through Friday. It is located in JCAL’s landmarked building at 161-04 Jamaica Ave. For more information, call (718) 658-7400.
Reach editor-in-chief Nathan Duke via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 357-7400, ext. 122.