Dan Gasby, President of B. Smith Enterprises, with Ingrid Montecino, Greater New York Division President of The National Kidney Foundation, and transcultural lifestyle expert and restaurateur B. Smith at the Third Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show Sponsor Preview event at The New York Times on February 3, 2012.

I attended the special invitation-only sponsor event for the third annual Harlem Fine Arts Show which took place in the New York Times Building. This preview featured works from selected participating HFAS artists and the launch of the HARLEM FINE ARTS SHOW MAGAZINE.  It was sponsored by Aetna, Amtrak, Ciroc, Dell, Pepsi, State Farm, the U.S. Navy, Wells Fargo, and Emmis Communications.

The main event, the open-to-the public HFAS, will take place from February 10th through February 12th at the Riverside Church. The HFAS is one of the largest and most diverse exhibitions of art featuring emerging and established African-American artists.

Exhibited artwork at the Third Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show Sponsor Preview event at The New York Times on February 3, 2012.

The Times Building’s fifteenth floor provided a wonderful venue for this event. Guests flowed through the large rectangular corporate floor space. One side was devoted to a very entertaining three piece band and a singer and to two open bars. Guests had the choice of the following Ciroc cocktails: Ciroc White Peach, Skinny Cosmo, Coco Connection, and Ciroc Blue. The elevator bank area was devoted to a cheese, cracker, and fruit spread.

With a wad of very tasty red grapes in hand, I entered the art work viewing area. I had a very pleasant chat with artist Minna Dunn who said that her acrylic paint on canvas and mixed media paintings consist of “color, movement, perspective and texture.” In addition to being a talented artist, Ms. Dunn is a nice person. She graciously allowed me to use the chair in her exhibit area.

I was particularly struck by Andrew Nichols’ work which imbues Cubism with a contemporary male black New York perspective. His “The Big Apple” pictures an abstract apple divided into vibrant red, purple, blue and gold sections. The compelling “I Am A Man,” which presents the same color scheme and division technique, portrays a business suit clad man holding a picket sign whose text duplicates the painting’s title.

Why did I have to borrow the chair assigned to Ms. Dunn? It was necessary for me to rest after spending a very pleasant hour and a half walking around enjoying the following work: Lenore Browne’s photography, Michael Escoffery’s faces and figures, Mason Archie’s landscapes, and Jacob Lawrence’s pictures of women.

Harlem Fine Arts Show Founder Dion Clarke with participating HFAS artist Sir Shadow at the Third Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show Sponsor Preview event at The New York Times on February 3, 2012.

The evening’s juxtaposition of art, music, food, and cocktails was capped off by a gift bag containing a Nichols painting in poster form a black history calendar.

I strongly suggest that you attend next week’s HFAS!

– Marleen Barr

Images courtesy of the Rosen Group

Third Annual Harlem Fine Arts Show

Shines Spotlight on Artists from Around the World

Friday, February 10 – Sunday, February 12, 2011

Riverside Church
490 Riverside Drive
(at 120th Street)

Special VIP Preview Reception Hosted by Transcultural Lifestyle Expert B. Smith

on February 10th, 2011 at the Historic Riverside Church

As a Valentine to fine art aficionados around the world, the Harlem Fine Arts Show (HFAS) — a leading showcase for modern and contemporary African Diasporic art — will bring together a diverse group of power brokers, collectors, and art enthusiasts to celebrate the imagination and spirit of the visual arts community. Held during Black History Month, the third annual 2012 Harlem Fine Arts Show will feature a VIP preview reception hosted by transcultural lifestyle expert, author, and restaurateur B. Smith, on Friday, February 10 at the historic Riverside Church of New York City. A two-day exhibition of more than 100 emerging and established multicultural artists will open to the public on Saturday, February 11 and Sunday, February 12.

“A vital networking and multicultural event for art lovers everywhere, the Harlem Fine Arts Show reflects the diverse demographic and international appeal of popular and cutting edge Afro-centric and Hispanic artists,” said Dion Clarke, Founder of the Harlem Fine Arts Show and President of JWD Enterprises. “Our overarching mission is to support the arts in a way that enriches and educates communities on a global scale, while showcasing Harlem as a cultural hub.”

The explosion of culture that began with the Harlem Renaissance in the early 1900’s will be celebrated at the annual Harlem Fine Arts Show. The three days of events will include contemporary artist exhibitors and nationally renowned regional galleries offering patrons a unique opportunity to participate in extraordinary art exhibitions, meet and interact with the artists, and more.

The Harlem Fine Arts Show is pleased to have John Martin, a seasoned exhibition designer of the JP Martin Group, bring together the artwork of some of the most accomplished and influential American artists of African and Hispanic descent. The renowned photography of James Van Der Zee (June 29, 1886 – May 15, 1983), a prominent documentarian of Harlem, New York from 1915 to 1960, will be among the featured artists who also include:

Hérold Alvares: Haitian artist born without arms due to a congenital birth defect who began painting at the age of eight. The gifted teacher can often be found teaching art to the disabled children at St. Vincent’s Center for Handicapped Children in Port-au-Prince.

Stacey Brown: Visual Artist whose creations on glass are inspired by his background in graphic design, with flowing shapes and contours that express contemporary and edgy artistic style. His work has garnered acclaim from the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Décor Magazine, and BET’s hit reality show, College Hill.

Frank Frazier: Harlem native whose art career spans over 50 years of perseverance and inspiration. His works of genius depict everything from antagonistic war to jovial jazz concerts.

George Nock: Self-taught artist and former running back with the New York Jets and Washington Redskins, who has distinguished himself among the greatest sculptors of the twentieth through twenty-first century through his highly original bronzes.

Kerream Jones: Work possesses a multifaceted and timeless quality that has led this prolific artist to receive commissions from Verizon Wireless, Pepsi, Upscale Magazine, Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, the City Of Chicago, Martell and various non-profit organizations.

Gwendolyn E. Redfern: North Carolina native and multi-talented artist who expresses life experiences through her pottery, painting, and mixed media collages.

Najee Dorsey: Founder of Black Art in America and mixed media artist whose work pays homage to a cast of colorful characters, folk legends and heroes, as well as critiquing aspects of contemporary times.

Among the special offerings of the three days of events, Diversity Prep Day will take place throughout the afternoon of Friday, February 10 to give students the opportunity to explore the visual arts, mingle with the artists, and participate in a youth information fair by HFAS sponsors and partners.

“Diversity Prep Day is a way for the HFAS to fill the arts in education gap for youth in New York City public schools, as well as the tri-state area, who do not have direct access to the cultural richness that art provides,” said Halima Taha, PhD, Consulting Director of Educational Leadership for Diversity Prep, a teen lifestyle magazine focusing on diversity and multiculturalism. “As a division of JWD Enterprises, the shared goal of  the magazine and Diversity Prep Day is to invite diverse audiences ages 7 to 70 years old, as well as public and independent school communities, to see the world from a different perspective, as a catalyst for dialogue and entry into a larger arena for art and ideas.”

Since 2010, the Harlem Fine Arts Show has been presented by JWD Enterprises, a diversity marketing firm whose goal is to build bridges among disparate communities. The three days of events will take place Friday, February 10 through Sunday, February 12 at Riverside Church, 490 Riverside Drive (at 120th Street) in New York City. Tickets for the art show are $20 and will be available for purchase at http://hfas.org/tickets or by calling Porcia Gardner at (914) 450-4269. Students from public, independent and charter schools in the tri-state area, as well as members of the military in uniform will be granted admission at no cost.

Sponsors of the Harlem Fine Arts Show are Aetna, Amtrak, Dell, PepsiCo, the United States Navy and Wells Fargo. Partners include the National Kidney Foundation, Double Discovery Center (DDC) at Columbia University, and Black Art in America.

For more information about the Harlem Fine Arts Show, please visit www.hfas.org.

About the Harlem Fine Arts Show

Presented by JWD Enterprises, a diversity marketing firm whose goal is to build bridges among disparate communities, the Harlem Fine Arts Show (HFAS) is a major networking event that showcases artwork from the twenty-first century’s global renaissance. Celebrated during Black History Month, the HFAS features some of the country’s most talented and upcoming artists, and includes a variety of mediums and styles. Artwork will be available for sale during the event and artists will be onsite to meet throughout the weekend. For more information, please visit www.hfas.org or find us on Facebook.