Acclaimed artist Madam Muse knows every line of dialogue from The Color Purple.
So it comes as no surprise that scenes from the 1985 film are among the paintings Muse contributed to the Everybody Black exhibit now open at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Advocate & Gochi’s Galleries.
Muse is one of six artists featured in the group exhibit that celebrates black lives, culture, and experience in honor of Black History Month.
“I’m really hoping people can experience more of the culture and take a little bit of a deeper look than what they’re used to,” she says. “In a lot of my pieces I like to celebrate women– black, queer women in film and black activists.”
The exhibit, which runs through March 5, also features the works of Tia Thompson, Francesca Lalanne, Nneka Gigi, Lyle Everett Rushing, and Kraig King.
“I want people to begin to read another narrative of blackness,” says Thompson. “Particularly a narrative that’s told by black artists. I want people to begin shifting their thinking around what blackness is and what it feels like and tap into their own humanity to see us as whole beings.”
Thompson contributed dramatic photos taken in such places as Cuba and New Orleans.
“When they asked me to be a part of the work for this particular month I was so excited,” she says. “My work, I feel, embodies the theme of Everybody Black.”
Gigi has contributed a dramatic sculpture Amaka to the exhibit as a statement about a rape culture she says persists in Nigeria.
“It means a lot for me to be a part of this,” she says. “As a survivor of rape, I wanted to make a statement. I want to inspire women to not be silent about it anymore. It took me so long to be able to say my attacker’s name so I just want people to feel more confident and feel that they can have a voice.”
The Center’s Box Office and Special Events Coordinator Christopher Atkins, who curated the exhibit with fellow Center staffer Melantha Hodge, says the exhibit compliments the Center’s Black History Month celebration The Future is Black: Reclaiming Our Power on Saturday, February 17, at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza in Hollywood.
The exhibit will be open during the event and all of the artists are expected to be in attendance to discuss their work.
“All the styles are different but the subject matter is so cohesive. They all fit together,” Atkins says. “You can tell the artists behind each piece of work had the same goal of celebrating black lives, to stay visible, to show people that we’re here. We’re not going anywhere.”
Everybody Black is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The gallery is located at The Village at Ed Gould Plaza, 1125 N. McCadden PL., Los Angeles, CA, 90038.