African-American artists produce cultural creations

The Lederer Gallery is now housing its first exhibit of the semester, "African American Artists on Paper," which features work from over 25 contemporary artists who have all been honored for their achievements.

One of the most compelling works on display is Keith Morris Washington's life-sized charcoal drawing of a nude woman. Although the subject is exposed, she appears amazingly confident and appreciative of her beauty. Washington's use of intense contrast and multiple shading techniques brings his artwork to life and gives viewers a sense of deep connection to his compelling creation.

Other magnificent pieces on display include "Vinyassa Rytham" and "Stain" by Teri Richardson. These watercolor and pencil mosaics create a peaceful cathedral-like atmosphere, encompassing the gallery in a variety of colors and curved shapes.

Larry Winston Collins' "Industructure" and "Lava Dance" are two particularly notable drawings featured in the gallery. Collins, even in using a medium as simple as a pencil, manages to intertwine geometric shapes and patterns to create a composition enjoyable from multiple perspectives.

"Making Mistakes," by Gregory Coates is a piece to which students might relate. It consists of two of Coates' drawings crumpled up and tossed inside of Plexiglas boxes, emitting a sense of defeat and yet the hope of future possibilities. The prevailing idea of the design is that mistakes and failure are common, but that every effort can bring a person a step closer to success.

Some artists chose to focus more on using material objects to express the struggles of modern life. For example, no artist captures a city skyline more beautifully than Alan Davson does in his ink drawing "Fire." The intricate detail involved in creating the buildings alone speaks to hours of painstaking design and effort on Davson's part. His line and form are so impeccably detailed that viewers can easily create their own image of the subject "Fire" rather than fire simply existing as an image in Davson's imagination.

Viewers who enjoy religious influence in art can appreciate Luvon Sheppard's watercolor painting called "Ezekiel 17." Sheppard does a remarkable job of showing visual representations of passages from this section of the Bible. Specifically, Sheppard impressively recreates line three: "A great eagle with powerful wings, long feathers and full plumage of varied colors came to Lebanon." The painting features a great deal of focus on an eagle in pastels emerging from the sky and flying across a road. As an added visual effect, Sheppard wrote the inspirational passage itself in the sky overhead.

"African American Artists on Paper" exhibits the skills and talents of its contributors, and speaks to the impressive abilities of these creative African-American artists. The exhibit will remain on display until Oct. 25.