The Aboriginal Museum
A Revelation of True Identity
February 11, 2022 - March 7, 2022
Ray Lewis, Christian Johnson
Ugo Agoruah, Thomas Bess, Montez Brénard, Markeidric The Great, Williams Riggs Sabb, Ron Smith
The Sinclair Gallery hosts a group showing titled, “The Aboriginal Museum.” The exhibit will run from February 11, 2022 – March 7, 2022; opening reception begins at 7pm. Sinclair Gallery will also hold an artist talk, at 2pm on February 19, 2022.
Artists of this exhibit: Ugo Agoruah, Thom Bess, Montez Brenard, Williams Riggs Sabb, and Ron Smith were selected by Co-Curators, Markeidric the Great and Ray Lewis.
The aboriginal museum highlights aboriginal contemporary artists using their cultural connections and interest to depict their interpretations of fine art through a variety of mediums. The exhibition is presented as a museum with each artist providing their individual perspectives to help form a unified body of work that illuminates what is inaccurately referred to as “African-American” culture.
The Aboriginal Museum brings six aboriginal contemporary artists together to reflect on their cultural experiences. The “Out of Africa” theory, based on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade is a direct conflict to the true history of Aboriginals in America. It’s not one size fits all.
The Aboriginal Museum challenges that narrative and suggests that we are descendants of the original inhabitants, not “black” , not “African-American” but Aboriginal.
In this exhibition, the artists will give viewers the ability to look at America through a different lens, that being from the point of view of The Aboriginal Artist. Each artist has been hand picked by Markeidric for their uniqueness, creative talent, and ability to depict their cultural experiences.
Rayfield Lewis II
Born in Savannah, raised in Athens, trained in Atlanta, Rayfield Lewis II is a self-taught creative visionary. He spent many years accepting behind the scene roles across many different creative mediums. In 2018 he was introduced to the visual art scene by way of transporting and installing art for galleries and designers. In 2020, through his company Suga Cane Syrup, he started a residency program at the Arts Exchange in Eastpoint, Ga where he opens up his art studio for creative minds to create. Artist like Thomas Bess, Ron Smith, Ugo Agoruah, and Debõrah Hughes are just a few of the names that have taken advantage to the residency. Rayfield curated his first exhibition in February of 2021 with Tim short. It was held at Parlor in the Castleberry Hills district of Atlanta, Ga where he is the curator for their arts and culture program. He went on to curate four other shows in 2021. His most recent with John Glover being a major success for such a short curating career. Rayfield is more than excited to continue his creative journey and to work intimately with the creative talents and geniuses of today to bring their art and their message to the world for everyone to see.
Markeidric The Great
Instagram - @markeidric
Growing up in Atlanta opened opportunities for Markeidric and his family. As a kid he took on many sports in his spare time which at an early age introduced him to disciplines like hard work and determination. On top of being heavily involved with sports, he also discovered a great passion for art. At the age of 6 he was placed in private art lessons with the same teacher (Phillis Bostar) until he graduated high school at 17. At an early age he began studying masters, from Davinci and Rembrandt to Monet and Cezanne. After graduating, his learning relationship with Phillis was brought to an end so he began his pursuit of higher education attending Savannah College of Art and Design as a painter. His current body of work focuses on the contemporary evolution of classical painting techniques applied to modern subjects and concepts. Thus having been inspired by very few Black artists before him, he is what we could consider to be one of our first Post Modern Neo-Classical artist. Through manipulating paint application, things like landscapes, portraits, and interior spaces trigger the desire to engage his work. Markeidric The Great.
Ugo Agoruah is a Nigerian born artist, raised in Marietta, GA since early childhood. It is here; he started cultivating a love for artistic imagery and aesthetic. Even with his artistic capabilities, he chose to focus his studies on Biology, where he developed an interest in the human figure and its functions. By 2015 Ugo was hit with divine spark to create, and bring more focus on advancing and spreading his artistic practice. By 2018, Ugo obtained his Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting from the Kennesaw State University School of Art & Design. Since arriving in the Atlanta art scene in 2015, Ugo has worked to capture and intrigue the community with his beautiful work, and his attention to aesthetic & narrative. Using the gift of art as a gateway to higher thinking, understanding, and discovery, Ugo takes inspiration from personal tales, art history, culture, and the classical muse to create work that can be described as transcendental and didactic.
Thom Bess (or simply “Bess” as friends call him) is a new and exciting force in Contemporary Art, specializing in collage style paintings and drawings. Influenced by Picasso, Romere Bearden, and Stephanie Jackson, Bess’s work has been described as mystical, darkly funny, challenging, and uplifting, the kind of art that sparks conversation and debate. Bess was raised in the small town of Gray, GA with strong Christian values and all the contradictions of the American South. He moved to big city Atlanta at the age of 15 where he immediately became a fixture in the local arts community and beyond. Following a near death experience at 18, Bess began splitting his time between Jamaica and Amsterdam, where he began studying African centered metaphysics, and ironically began to reflect and channel his very American experiences onto canvas. Returning to the US in 2008, Bess started creating wall projections for small gatherings of friends in the newly re-emerging party and arts scene in Atlanta, depicting cult pop culture icons, literary figures, and people he encountered at the local coffee shop. He currently lives and works in Atlanta, GA.
Montez Brénard is an American artist, altruist, curator, designer, documentarian and inventor born and raised in PG County, Maryland. He started out drawing and using fabric paint to customize clothing for himself and classmates in elementary school. Throughout his childhood he explored various branches of arts including installations, sculpture, painting, mixed media, photography, videography and more. In 2010, he went on to design a clothing brand that was celebrated locally and sought after internationally. Several years later, he graduated with a B.F.A in Graphic Design from Savannah College of Art and Design. Some of his accomplishments include inventing a game, filing for a design patent, recording multiple musical projects and curating multi-sensory experiences for performance artists. Known for phrases like “The goal is to get it, then give it to people who need it.” and “If we don’t stick together we f*cked.” It’s not hard to tell that Montez values collaborating, sharing resources and tribalism.
William Riggs Sabb
My art form was cultivated from 90’s rap and saturday morning cartoons• classically trained at the Savannah College of Art in Design • radiant illustrator • finesse caricature artisan• formed from the red clay of Statesboro, Georgia • creative energy only
Painter, sculptor, educator, & leader. Ron Smith is a man of many hats, as well as many talents. From digital works and designs, to beautifully painted figures, and sculpture, Ron Smith’s creativity knows no bounds. A master at his craft and a man of the ppl, he creates artwork that serves as a reminder that artwork is an integral part of history and should help reformulate the definition of civilization.