The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has decided to expand ELEVATE, turning it from a seasonal temporary public art program, to a regularly occurring arts program for all Atlantans.
ATLANTA, GA, November 07, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — Looking for art in ordinary settings? What you seek might be found in the city of Atlanta. The Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs has decided to expand ELEVATE, turning it from a seasonal temporary public art program, to a regularly occurring arts program for all Atlantans. The Mayor of Atlanta seeks to provide platform to Atlanta’s vibrant and diverse urban community with public art interactions like ELEVATE. No need to go to New York for high-art anymore!
Beginning with Atlanta’s downtown area, the upcoming segment of ELEVATE will host an accomplished muralist and fellow Atlantan, Corey Barksdale. Barksdale’s current assignment has him working at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture at the nation’s capital.
Jazz Music is the Muse
For Barksdale, his muse is music, jazz music to be particular! Barksdale says that all his paintings about Atlanta are deeply inspired by both African American culture and jazz music. He even says, that to him, Jazz and Art are synonymous. The music tracks that can be heard playing in Barksdale’s studio include perennial favorites like John Coltrane, Miles Davis and the inimitable Charlie Parker. As an artist, he finds that when both of the elements are combined, there is so much creative power flowing, that the resulting artworks seem practically immortal! A true connoisseur of the arts can instantly connect with this state of ecstasy – Barksdales has created over 30 colorful, broad stroke paintings to capture this unique meditation on jazz music and musicians.
Coloring in a New Reality
Can coloring books bring you peace and mindfulness? They can if they are the product of an inspirational artist like Corey Barksdale. Barksdale’s first ever adult coloring book pays homage to the vibrant 1920’s artistic happening that was the Harlem Renaissance. His bold illustrations bring to life the hopes and dreams of all those poets, musicians, writers and activists that ignited an international cultural revolution. All the notable minds are represented within the pages of this inventive coloring book.
As Harlem became a hub for migrants seeking a life beyond slavery and economic stagnation, the creative community began to band together to produce new literature, music and artworks that celebrated the African American experience. The Great Migration fueled the move to the North as job-seekers fled the South to find work in new factories during World War I. Free from the suffocating lives they had lead in the South and flush with cash from their profitable jobs, the new migrants to New York and other major Northern cities sought ways to entertain themselves in their brand new lives. Over time, Harlem become synonymous with the names of African American intellectuals, creatives and thespians like Alain Leroy Locke, Madam C.J. Walker, Josephine Baker, Count Basie, and countless more! All one needs is Barksdale’s coloring book, a box of paints and a jazz-filled afternoon to immerse in poignant history of Harlem and all that it stands for.
Capturing the African American Experience on Canvas
The canvas invites Corey Barksdale to utilize his talent for fine arts as a record-keeper. As an artist, he finds himself inspired to capture key aspects of African American history within his brushstrokes. One example would be to render Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech in Dublin with Barksdale’s hybrid movement of color and emotion. He finds himself represented in the shared African-American experience, and chooses to explore his evolving identity as well as his connection to his community through the paint brush.
Even the use of colors on Barksdale’s canvas have a deeper meaning. He connect to the traditional style of art hailing from the African continent, and chooses to repeat brighter tones a part of an elaborate scheme. Barksdales process always begins with primary colors, he then graduates to secondary colors, inventing new tones with each piece of art. White is used for highlights, while blue reflects the darkest color on his canvas. Red is a mid-tone, while orange and yellow are reserved for lighter elements within the canvas or mural.
When asked to pick a favorite, Barksdale claims while he loves all of them, Jazz Reflections is his absolute favorite artwork. The painting depicts six men playing a variety of horn instruments, a piano and a bass. This art piece, for Corey Barksdale, reflects what the vibe is like to be inside of a swinging jazz club.
About this Atlantan Artist
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, Corey Barksdale is carrying on his family’s artistic talent. His tilt towards details and design began with the influence of his grandmother, who was an accomplished quilt artist and his mother’s keen eye for details. Corey is also highly inspired by his African American heritage and seeks to represent the struggle as well as the glory, as is evident by his coloring-book project. He does both public art as well as fine art with equal skill and ease.
Corey Barksdale, is a proud Atlanta College of Art graduate who adores all colors – the brighter they are, the better! This love for color is evident in his broad stroke paintings as well as his richly filled-in murals. Barksdale aims to connect further with his local community through the ELEVATE experience. He has already captured the hearts and souls of numerous art collectors the world over- including diplomats, musicians, sports players and authors. Barksdale’s murals have graced the Atlanta Beltway, in both Decatur and Athens, GA and they have been the backdrop of numerous television projects. Barksdale’s image is part of a 360 theater exhibit film that celebrates creativity and cultural expressions from African American community.
When it comes to real blend of African America art works, those that are a renaissance of time, Artist Corey Barksdale knows how to make the spirits come alive. For over a decade now, Barksdale has been offering public exposure to Atlanta artist Corey Barksdale’s art creations and has been serving art dealers and collectors in their search for a broad range of fine art paintings and collectible’s that are quite exclusive and striking.
Atlanta African American artist Corey’s art projects have touched the hearts of those that have come across it – as every of his artwork presents that touch & feel that connects with the body, mind and soul.
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