Formerly San Franscisco-based, D.E. Johnson's sister drawings combine charcoal with acrylic and photo copies to materialize numinous portraits of African-American women. In one of her "Earth.Bound. Journey." works, Tae Earl of Fairbanks, Alaska, fills a carved wood box with pistachio shells and a spoon-like object. Placed on heavy dark rectangular pedestals edged in pungent coffee grounds, her mysterious patterned vessels give elegant substance to ephemeral notions of cultural history.
Atlantan Charles Nelson continues to document his call and response series, a sequence of interactive photo sessions in public urban settings. For "Y.N.A.R.," he invited passersby to pose for Polaroid snapshots in front of a wall-sized painted canvas backdrop. His live subjects add contemporary dimension to a detail of Michelangelo's "Last Judgment" featuring a black Christ. Overhead, the words "Y'all Niggas Ain't Ready" exaggerate the incongruous irony of his metaphoric setup.
Bruce Phillips' work typically exemplifies what he considers a historic cultural embrace of flotsam and jetsam. The Savannah-based artist offers a series of three assemblages celebrating beauty in discarded windows, game boards, tools, broken glass and corks.
Mitch O'Neal presents simple, red-spattered drawings of a church and a sword in "The Body" and "The Word." With minimal lines, he shapes weighty biblical symbols. Kevin Sipp explores the power of spiritual fusion in his ongoing shrine work. The wall-mounted "I & I Ching/Tuff Gong" centers a human-sized circle of pennies with a gong, an embellished turntable and an open fan.
Exhibition organizers Sipp and Jackson describe the artists' quest as one informed by "internal spirits, ancestral spirits and the vision of spirits yet to come." No doubt, these fresh Points of Departure propose a collective and personal vision in which the spirit of diversity is writ large.
Multiple Points of Departure continues through Aug. 6. National Black Arts Festival reception is July 28 from 6-10 p.m. 133 W. Wieuca Road. Tues.-Sat. 1-5 p.m. 404-257-1804.
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