November 4 - December 31, 2022
"WA PAPO: Rainbow Warrior"
Mixed Media Art by David Allen Harris
and Lyric Prince Harris
The WA PAPO collaboration puts story and environment back together through combining a custom-created collage of patterns, fabrics, and body art, documenting through digital photography and virtual reality. The name, which means "come together" in the Yoruba language, is a call back to an old Beatles song by the same name.
Their work centers around traditional African beliefs, but is just as much about how those beliefs have merged with others over time--- European, Native, or Caribbean--- remaking the story of how we can bring together what’s been torn apart by time and faded memories.
Throughout this particular segment of the project, symbols and special colors were painted onto a newly created character that the artists call the ‘Rainbow Warrior.’ All of the pictures were taken in 2021.
Through WA PAPO, the artists are going deeper into rediscovering space and alternate reality. What we know that is overlaying the everyday of who we are, collides into something called ‘Spirit’ along with the feeling of coming home.
Lyric Prince Harris and husband David Allen Harris’ work shows the physical and spiritual interplay with being a woman of any given color--especially Black.
November 4 - December 31, 2022
"Eshu: Pathway to Spirit"
Mixed Media Art by Nedra T. Williams
Nedra Williams is a mixed media artist, designer and illustrator. She is the owner of and curator for Conjure Collage Art and Design Studio located in Oakland, CA.
She has a passion for bold colors, lines and layering, and varied forms. She favors acrylics and uses a variety of materials including varied papers, fabrics, glass, stencils, and photography.
Ms. Williams is a retired English and Philosophy teacher. Her artist pursuits now occupy most of her time. She has had over twenty group shows and fourteen solo engagements since 2007. Her commissioned works range from shattered glass and ancestral objects, floral mannequins and large collage hangings and paintings.
Her work has graced the album cover The Everlasting Coconut Tree. Her work has also been seen on Warrior Women and ORISAWEAR T’shirt collections, as well as, Variation On The Same Theme and the magazine, Oakland Neighborhood. She designed the artwork for Sorrowland Oracle by Ayodele Nzinga and the 30th Anniversary edition of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman’s Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals as well as Cast of Cowries by Luisah Teish. She provides illustrations for projects with spiritual themes and facilitates these discussions. She also teaches art classes online.
November 4 - December 31, 2022
Photography by Janet Sheard
Janet Sheard is recognized for her luminous portraits of artists in their interior work spaces, their studios. In this show she turns her historian’s eye in a radically new direction – capturing artists in their exterior work spaces – the homes they’ve created to live in – on the edges of Lake Merritt.
We’ve all walked by the encampments of unhoused people and seen photographs of them in the news and online, and what we come away with are images of squalor. But Sheard wants us to see these camps and the men who are living in them in a different way. A tarp, a tent, a chair, a packing crate, dis- and reassembled, a face, a gaze, a hand, a book in hand; all of these are preserved for us through the genius of Sheard’s clear and caring eye. She wants us to see men we may pity or fear, avoid or dismiss – as artists themselves, facing challenges most of us may never know.
Patterns of creation and re-creation dance through this show – with Lake Merritt in the background. A tent. a battered table, two trees, a cobbled-together home across the water, an elegant building and the lake itself – is a part of Sheard’s story. Sheard captures with her amazing artist’s eye, preserving moments of life, of re-creation, of men working to make meaning and beauty in a dysfunctional world. A world that calls out to us for healing, that Janet Sheard calls us toward with vivid hope and transformative light.
September 2 - October 29, 2022
Artwork by David Bruce Graves
Evergreen trees are those which maintain their greenery throughout the seasons. Often living hundreds of years and growing to be some of the tallest on the planet. They are symbolically associated with wisdom, growth, longevity, immortality, enchantment, and serenity in nature. In modern usage, Evergreen is often applied to objects, ideas, and entities that are resilient, relevant, self-renewing, and appealing over time.
This collection of artworks is overall a tribute to African American cultural history and offerings of my imagination. Subjects and concepts that have inspired me. Expressing my creative intentions through my work, I believe I am bringing myself and others closer to the feelings, spirit, and realization of an Evergreen state of mind.
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa. and self-proclaimed New Yorker in exile, David Bruce Graves works and resides in the S.F. East Bay Area. He graduated from the University of San Francisco and the Academy of Art University. His work has been exhibited at the DeYoung Museum, the N.Y. Society of Illustrators, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, and the Rush Gallery in N.Y.C. among other art venues.
August 12 - October 29, 2022
"For Some Reason:
Musing on The State of Things"
Paintings by Okey Ofomata
Okey Ofomata (African American, born 1997 in Los Angeles, California) is a mixed-media artist whose work places emphasis on anxiety and worry whether it is illustrated through outside circumstances or from within the subjects' mindset. The black body is seldom at the foreground of the work. Instead, the embellishment of fixed social complexities and systems put in place to intentionally harm and exclude is prominent. There is an uneasiness and nervousness in the works as figures are often placed in awkward malicious situations avoiding signs of a danger they won't acknowledge until it inevitably meets them. The intent in these works is to colorfully show the attempt to overcome these doubts and anxiety issues. Familiar environments such as an elevator and supermarket are used in his works in order to ground the paintings as the figures are acting on another plane.
Ofomata creates engaging compositions with a dynamic sense of depth and tactility. Primarily done with acrylics, oil pastels, and charcoal, dry paint from Ofomata's palette is also utilized throughout all of his works as a consistent stylistic choice. Recycled material is also used sometimes to enhance a figure or subject's presence. The dry paint, oil pastels and synthetic hair give the work an added dimension creating a sensory experience for the viewer.
July 1 - July 30, 2022
"AT - TRIBUTE"
Mixed Media Art by Eric Murphy
"AT - TRIBUTE," is the titled exhibition by Eric Murphy with a double entendre which means to be present at a tribute (this exhibit) to highlight the attributes of people and things that are being commemorated or regarded as influential elements in the artist's life and artwork.
Murphy’s categorical body of work reintroduces his past medium of mixed media and photo based collages with subjects that includes, Sylvia Robinson (dubbed "The Mother of Hip Hop") - singer and founder of Sugar Hill Records, Tarika Lewis - the first female Black Panther for Self Defense, singer/actress Aaliyah Haughton - an audio influence in his earlier work and various nods to his native Oakland culture can also be found along with pop culture as a continuous recipe. These artworks are accompanied by linguistics and various systems of proto-writing.
The category on display at Joyce Gordon Gallery is Murphy's "Oakland Allstar series." This series highlight celebrities you may or may not know that is from Oakland, lived in Oakland or affiliated with Oakland. They are engulfed in a map of Oakland, decorated in its district lines as motifs. Each embedded image is a story of their connection to the City of Oakland, Ca. Its deck of cards format includes the City of Oakland logo in place of the suit and pips below the celebrity's intial with a Wakandan script translation on the flip side. Each framed piece has a hand painted black mat by the artist to center the audience eye on the playing card format. Various found images are mixed with designs and photographs taken by the artist to complete the final work.
Murphy is currently the Gallery Curator of Joyce Gordon Gallery and has worked with the gallery as a curator and art installer since 2012. Murphy is also a curatorial Advisor for Tea Roots organization based in Oakland and San Francisco, Ca and current member of the Oakland Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC). He also successfully completed two terms (2012 – 2018) as a re-appointed member of the Alameda County Arts Commission and currently sits on its board.
July 1 - July 30, 2022
"3rd Lens Unclouded"
Photography by Ron Calime
As one looks and sees the truths, it begins from looking into self, the vision of the 3rd Lens becomes Unclouded. The colors and shapes form Truths in Life. Opening Portals of Dreams to be discovered. Using Humanity as a guide to venture out of the Myths of Life, and into the Magical Mystics of stories Untold and Unclouded.
By seeing the environment with the intuitive spirit to be in harmony with Nature and Humanity. Enjoying the beauty that exists beyond the human touch, with the purity extending throughout the Universe.
In a world clouded by social, economic, environmental traumas, what is pure and true can be out of focus. Though one still moves alone into the cloudiness of daily life. The 3rd Lens that of the Third Eye or Pineal Gland, giving those aware of its power, vision, and perception to stay balanced in a traumatized world.
Ron is a Photo Artist and multi-discipline Design Draftsman contributing to many innovative projects. From these projects Ron has always maintained a vision with light at the end of the tunnel, to stay creative. By seeing the potential of art in using drafting tools, manual and computer aided, he functioned as a graphic artist as well. Having all the tools at his disposal, he took advantage in the learning process, and expanded his creativity.
In 2020, a time in History where Ron saw that the light was getting brighter and full of colors in a world that has become color blind to the gift of Life. He took a writing course to story his photos, with poems and proses. Combining words to tell stories and write poems and prose’s to compliment his photos.
Ron continues his enjoyment with his camera or phone to capture sunsets and sunrises, community events, along with the mysterious beauty in nature.
May 6 - June 25, 2022
"In The Kitchen"
Paintings by Janet Barnes
Created with the blend of oil and chalk pastel. Acrylic paint is added for a sharp tight color blend. I refer to my style of design as “social abstract “ with people always being the main focus in each artwork.
Inspired by the people who cook for the ones they love. They pass down the traditions and recipes generation to generation. My chefs are someone who cooks to be compensated by the smiles of family and laughter of friends.
Janet Barnes is an artist living and creating in Northern California. Her paintings reflect the values of what is most important to her in life. The consistent themes within all of Janet’s paintings are community and belonging, whether it be with family sharing daily experiences at the dinner table, musicians practicing for their performances, or a mother preparing dinner for her family.
Janet will tell you that Jacob Lawrence, who was one of the most important artist of the 20th century, had a profound effect on her paintings. His influence can be seen in her use of bold bright colors and her depiction of everyday life. She recently had one of her, Dinnertime Series, artworks Juried into the Crocker Art Museum Annual Silent Auction 2022. Janet has had the honor of being a resident artist at Joyce Gordon Gallery for the past nine years.
February 4 - March 26, 2022
"In My Existence"
Artwork and Sculptures by Ben Agbee
and Woody Johnson
Ben Agbee is one of the most successful Ghanaian artists, who has over the years carved a niche for himself with extremely evocative works. His works consist of all kinds of all kinds of images, figures and symbols bordered on abstract, impressionism, landscapes and realism which lead to a myriad of interpretations. Ben Agbee has worked hard to provide for himself a platform to continuously devote his time to painting. His recent works resonate finely expressed forms of market women with a a controlled multiplicity of colour and textures. His use of the palette knife technique and brush work of the evokes silhouette forms gradually into unfinished yet plausible images. Agbee’s paintings constantly demonstrate his commitment to figurative compositions within market scenes, city scapes and music.
Woody Johnson’s appreciation for wood as an artistic medium came from his father, who was a cabinetmaker in North Carolina. After studying graphics and sculpture at the California College of Arts and Crafts, he traveled to Nigeria where he studied with master Yoruba sculptor Lamidi Fakeye. Although he is a formally-trained sculptor, his work has poured into the areas of printmaking, painting and photography. Inspired by his travels around the world, Mr. Johnson has become the consummate artist. His dedication and perseverance is fueled by an undying commitment to his craft and his community.
Sculptures and paintings
Chukes is a sculptor and painter. He has been working professionally as an artist for more than thirty-five years. "Life is like a sculpture. We are born. Our parents shape and mold us then set us free. We then continue the process of shaping our own lives. The cycle never stops. We are in a constant state of creation. We never die. We are just planted back into the earth and we come back as clay to be shaped and molded again. ART is my LIFE!" - Chukes
November 5 - November 27, 2021
"Chronicles of Our Culture"
Photography by John Simmons, ASC
Joyce Gordon Gallery presents "Chronicles of Our Culture," a traveling exhibitions of photographs by Emmy Award-Winner, John Simmons. The exhibit is an American timeline of Black Culture from the 60s;
“It’s a visual diary of where I’ve been and who I am.” - John Simmons, ASC.
Time doesn't stand still but memories are not forgotten in this series of photographs chronicling various moments of Black Culture in America from the 1960s to the present day. A visual archivist since the 1960s, Simmons has produced captivating photographs that present the beauty, complexities, challenges, and intimate moments of black life and the broader world around him. This exhibit tells a chronicle of Black culture's beauty and reality. Some highlights include portraits of prominent leaders of the Civil Rights Movement including Jesse Jackson, a free Huey Newton demonstration “Free Huey” (Chicago, Ill., 1968), Angela Davis Nashville, TN (circa 1970), Rosa Parks. Other portraits include “Girl Eating Ice Cream” (Chicago, Ill., 1967) and Boy Running (Oakland, CA 2017).
John Simmons, ASC is an Emmy award-winning cinematographer, photographer, painter, collage artist and professor. Born and raised in Chicago, John Simmons came of age at the height of the politically charged, artistically fluent 1960s. His talent as a photographer was identified and nurtured by Robert “Bobby” Sengstacke who ushered him into his early years of publishing his photographs and to his formal education in art and photography as an undergraduate. “I began my career at the age of 16 as a photographer for the oldest African-American owned newspaper, The Chicago Daily Defender,” Simmons said. “Then, I segued into work as a Cinematographer, which has been my mainstay for many years. I’m glad to see photographs I took back in my teens are still relevant today.”
October 1 - October 31, 2021
"The BPP 55 yr Art show"
Sponsored by It's About Time Archive and Life is Living
October is Black Panther Party History Month, starting October 1, 2021 the BPP 55 yr Art show opened and displayed at Joyce Gordon Gallery in Downtown Oakland.
Artists: Emory Douglas, Malik Edwards, Gayle (Asali) Dickerson, Senay (Refa1), and It's About Time Archive
August 6 – September 25, 2021
"Quantum of Soul Power"
Quilts and Mosaics by Carlos Spivey
Quantum is based the amount or measurement of its subject. As this title refers to Soul Power, the Black power movement was and still is a fight for our ability to determine our own collective destiny. Awakening our collective consciousness to achieve a common destiny of what we are meant to be; liberating us from the ideologies of colonialism and racism that were created to keep us down. Soul Power… this collective super body, positions us to achieve our social, political, economic, industrial, spiritual, religious, Historical and cultural destiny.
Carlos Spivey is an African American artist who is a 4th generation Los Angeles native currently residing in South Central Los Angeles. Carlos's aim as a visual artist is to depict African Americans and Africans of the Diaspora In a positive light. He received his BA in fine arts from UCLA in 1981. He later attended Graduate school at UCLA as well and received his MFA in Film/Animation in 1992. He has completed several animated shorts. He continues to evolve both as an artist and an animator seeing the past as the foundation of the present artistic endeavors that he is involved in.
Paintings & Mixed Media Art
Paintings by Benjamin Arizmendi
July 2 - July 31, 2021
"The Sea of Thought that comprises my art has traditional and digital paint on canvas, wood and metal, photography and digital collages. Agitated and calm abstraction, with hints of representation, especially when it involves the ocean itself and the spirits of people. My own spirit is in every painting but is always affected by the spirit of others."
Benjamin Arizmendi, “Sea Of Thought”, 48 x 52 in, Oil on canvas, 2021
June 4th - June 15th, 2021
Curated by James "Jupiter" June and
co-curated by Eric Murphy
Joyce Gordon Gallery in collaboration with Aziz Gallerie in L.A. (Leimert Park) presented "Black Spectrum,"
a contemporary exhibition inspired by the legacy of the black arts movement (Los Angeles, CA)
April 9th - June 15th, 2021
An Exhibition with artist Aziz Diagne
Aziz Diagne is a multi-media artist from Senegal, West Africa. He grew up in the city of Thies, amid the traditional art forms of his homeland.
These art forms include rock carving, ceramic and wood sculpture, murals, tapestry, and Thiesoise (reverse painting on glass). Aziz, a self-taught painter, through his unique and dynamic talents, quickly established himself as one of the premiere contemporary glass painters.
Before coming to the United States, Aziz studied in Dakar and Thies, Senegal. He then pursued art for several years in neighboring countries Mauritania and Morocco. Aziz traveled extensively throughout Africa, Europe, and South America, absorbing the art and cultures of diverse environments. These experiences have greatly enhanced the artist’s seemingly limitless repertoire and creative energy.
February 5 – March 27 2021
(Oakland's South And West African Artists Exchange)
Curated by Eric Murphy, Salif Doubare, & Khanyi Mawhayi
in collaboration with BLVCK Block
This diasporic exhibit series participated as part of the gallery's artists exchange program to celebrate Oakland beyond borders. OSAWAAE much like the original African surname, "Osawe," invokes talent, cheerfulness, wisdom, devotion and a deep passion to transform the world.
January 1 --- January 30 2021
The Art of Benjamin Arizmendi
Benjamin Arizmendi is an abstract artist residing in Oakland, California. Influenced by abstract expressionism, photography and digital media, Arizmendi uses color and composition in various forms to explore human consciousness and subjectivity. The purpose of abstract art, for Arizmendi, is to freely explore and express the internal world of the mind in its various emotional, intellectual, and spiritual modalities.
More boldly, Arizmendi believes these subjective explorations and expressions can help human beings understand external, objective reality. Arizmendi believes that abstract art can be a profound tool for understanding the world that science unveils, a tool that unifies internal, subjective truths with external objective truths.
While science quantifies the empirical world, abstract art can be used to "quantify" the world of mind and consciousness. Arizmendi's thesis is that mind and consciousness are central to our understanding of reality, and that artistic abstraction can bring mind and consciousness to bear upon rational, scientific inquiry..
Arizmendi’s art has been shown throughout Northern and Southern California, as well as East Hampton, NY and Vienna, Austria. He has been represented by Hugo
Rivera Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. Arizmendi received his BA in philosophy with honors from UCLA. Before becoming a full time artist he was a lawyer and a financial advisor. He holds a JD from the George Washington University Law School.
December 4, 2020 – January 30, 2021
Poetic Justice: From L.A. (Leimert Park) to the Bay
Curated by Eric Murphy and Jideofor Chikeruba
"Poetic Justice: From L.A. to the Bay," is a muti-media visual artist exchange exhibit between Bay Area and L.A. artists in the gallery hubs of downtown Oakland and the L.A. neighborhood of Leimert Park. This carefully curated simultaneously run group exhibit also includes artists workshops, lectures, walking tours and other community collaborative projects.
The title, Poetic Justice, is a nod and a tribute to the 1993 film by the late director, John Singleton. It's based on a character in L.A. named Justice (portrayed by Janet Jackson) who uses poetry to deal with the pain of her loss as she journeys her way to Oakland to attend a convention.
Poetic in this exhibit explores serendipitous connections such as Aziz Gallery, a former production studio of the late John Singleton or perhaps the Los Angeles neighborhood of Leimert Park named after land developer Walter Leimert who was born and raised in Oakland, CA. Justice in this exhibit can be referenced as creating positive outcomes or establishing one's alienable rights.
September 4 -- November 30, 2020
"Fragments of Poetry and Silence"
Paintings by Yari Ostovany
"..Each series has its origin in a cognitive/emotional spark, an experience used as a point of departure, where gestural outbursts, atmospheric passages and the ethereal coalesce, with a blending of intellection and intuition, to perhaps bring together unfinished inventories of fragments and detritus of states of formation – the liminal states.
Connecting to a greater energy by using the energy of the gravity of the earth to push and move paint until the distinctions between the foreground and the background and the spatial hierarchy melt away and disappear and the ephemeral begins to emerge.
An archiving process having to do with psychic geology and, somewhat akin to layers of memory – giving way to another, ephemeral sense of form and visual phenomena, dealing with an interiority as opposed to an exterior reality.
I see abstraction as representational insofar as it is a representation of a psychic state, not an external reality. The trajectories in contemporary painting in which my work belongs range from Abstract Expressionism in the west to Persian and Taoist/Zen aesthetic sensibilities in the east and other perennial visionary paths of wisdom."
July 10 – August 29, 2020
(Art, Culture, and Technology)
Recovery A.C.T. is the inaugural and post shelter-in-place exhibit by the Brookland Exchange Project (B.E.P.), exploring various meanings and implications of what recovery means to each participating artist in the Bay Area and other East Coast cities.
The exhibit originated from a joint discussion with Oakland, Ca. based curator, Eric Murphy and Brooklyn, N.Y./Puerto Rico based curator, Tarisse Iriarte of Curated Concepts, LLC. The conversation emphasised parallels of urban development and gentrification, not just from a local
perspective, but also from a broader bi-coastal study and how place-making aids historic preservation.
Beginning with the cities of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Oakland, CA. which, historically in part, shared the same name, expanded to similar conditions taking place in other cities. For this exhibit, 'recovery' was chosen as the theme to reflect various conditions in this country from civil unrest, our current pandemic to personal loss and how arts, culture (communities) and technology can help heal and address solutions to preserving our world.
May 8 - June 28 2020
"The Garden of Adornment"
The Garden of Adornment embarks into realms of design and ritual, and asks us where the garden really ends and human culture begins – or if there was ever a separation between the two.
Returning to Joyce Gordon Gallery after exhibits in 2016 (Peace Within Chaos) and 2018 (Night Flowers), the Garden of Adornment builds on Kevin’s well-known studio and plein air flowers, exploring new ideas in design, painting, paper, and adornments.
“Even during the dark times of this pandemic, I maintain the belief that art, love, and human expression have never been defeated by fear. But, as I make final preparations for The Garden of Adornment, many local galleries post cancellations and shutdowns. My commitment goes beyond this May 2020 show. I’m dedicating the Garden of Adornment to remind us all that staying safe isn’t only about protecting yourself, it’s about remembering to keep your dream alive and to live for what you love,” Kevin Woodson
Dec 6 2019 - Feb 28 2020
"Heaven And Earth"
This collection of artwork explores connections between the metaphysical and the natural world as we know it. I am utilizing themes from African cultures, religion, mythology, and allegorical symbolism to create an overall narrative of unity within life on earth and the mysteries of the universe. I am in fact, tapping into these unified sources when I create.
As humans evolve and continue to seek a connection to higher powers and the infinite, our true test is to live among each other in peace, with compassion for others and reverence for nature. Free of judgment knowing that we all are connected not only to each other but to the oneness of the universe. As the original people, I believe that members of the Africa diaspora will be leaders in this movement. It is hope that as you view this exhibit that you will see these principles reflected in the works of ‘Heaven and Earth.’
A native of Pittsburgh, Pa., David Bruce Graves has enjoyed a long and successful career as an illustrator, graphic designer, photo retoucher, and fine artist. He is a graduate at the University of San Francisco and the S.F. Academy of Art College who currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area.
David has exhibited at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, Pa., The Rush Gallery in NYC, The Kenkeleba Galley, NYC, the N.Y. Society of illustrators, The Richmond Art Center among other venues. This is his second solo exhibit at the Joyce Gordon Gallery.