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Black Arts and Culture

Artist Ken Wright Displays At Slover; D’Art Center Juried Show Underway

By Leonard E. Colvin
Chief Reporter
New Journal Guide


“See the Movement.”

“Feel the Emotion.”

“Hear the Melody.”

These are the themes of Artist Ken Wright’s art exhibit on display throughout Black History Month (BHM) in the front lobby of Norfolk’s Slover Library.

According to Wright, his exhibit of 20 pieces of various sizes, represents abstract images of realism.

“Before you can appreciate the abstract, you must understand realistic art,” said Wright. “Abstract, to me, is a close-up view of reality.

“Take the picture of a sports page where you will see a basketball player shooting hoops or football playing catching a ball.

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“And fold it, then fold it again, and you can see the beauty. The same can be seen by folk in the picture of flying birds.”

Wright has the longest tenure among the members of the Tidewater Artists Association, whose studio headquarters is located in the D’Art Center at 740 Duke Street in the Neon District, across from Chrysler Museum.

Among his favorite pieces is “Harvest View” which Wright said is a typical abstract painting of broad colorful strokes.

“Ready and Forward” is a piece from Wright’s series representing the Buffalo Soldiers, a unit of African-American soldiers who served in the U.S. Army on horseback out West.

Wright is one of the leaders and founding members of The Buffalo Riders of Hampton Roads, a local group of African-American horse riders who display their skills at various parades and events held mainly in Portsmouth.

Wright, who was once a graphic artist with the Virginian Pilot newspaper, is a noted award-winning artist with works in collections all over the world, including Indonesia, Germany, and France. His work is in the collection of two American Presidents, George W. Bush and Barack H. Obama.

D’Art Center

Juried Art Show

At the same time that Wright’s works are on display at the Slover, the juried show, “Soulful: A National Exhibition of African-American Artists” is on display at the D’Art Center.

The exhibit will be on display until February 28.

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Patrons can view the works Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wright said the 47 works by African-American artists will be judged and the first place winner will receive a $500 first place prize..

Six of the artists are local and the others are from all across the country.

Wright said 44 works from 34 artists from 19 states were selected for the exhibition. The exhibition will include functional and non functional, 2D, 3D, fine art and fine craft in all mediums created in the last five years.

“I think Hampton Roads is a good place to have such an exhibit,” said Wright. “I am hopeful people of all races and that Hampton Roads will come out, and see some of the nation’s most prominent artists.

For more information call, (757) 625-4211 or

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