Contemporary Art Galleries at 5 N. Harrison Street in Easton is hosting a March Madness event, “At the Buzzer,” featuring the artwork of local artist Shelton Hawkins of Easton. Contemporary Art Galleries is a collaborative gallery formed by Spiralis Gallery, owned by Gail Patterson, which features Contemporary Afro Caribbean art, and The Zebra Gallery, owned by Susan Schauer John, an award-winning local fiber artist.
The first-time event will kick off on March 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. focusing on all things basketball just in time for March Madness. The artwork of Shelton Hawkins will be featured, including photos of his basketball murals around the world and his black and white photography. Hawkins will be joined in the gallery by the works of multi-disciplinary mixed media artist Zsudayka Nzinga, mixed media artist John Lister, III, and abstract Afro-Caribbean artist Bulsby “Buzz” Duncan.
“We are so excited for this event because it incorporates all that we stand for – getting out of our silos and making connections, building community using art as a vehicle, and starting meaningful conversation,” comments co-founder Gail Patterson.
Hawkins is excited to show this volume of his work locally. He adds, “I want to show the youth that even if you don’t make it to the NBA, basketball can still be a huge part of your life and provide so many opportunities. Working with the gallery is very important as Gail and Susan are giving up-and-coming artists a platform to showcase their art and be a part of the community. I want more African Americans to feel comfortable doing projects and events downtown.”
Spiralis Gallery has reached out to other artists on the East Coast whose contemporary work speaks to the gallery’s focus. Zsudayka Nzinga of Washington, DC, uses portraiture and textiles to explore American life including themes of motherhood and culture and identity, particularly from the perspective of Black American descendants of the enslaved. Her pieces explore mixing patterns and textures to create collages using acrylic, oil, decorative and hand-dyed paper, fabric, thread, linocut stamp and ink on canvas.
The visual art of John Lister, III of Glen Burnie deals with history – be it large or small – chronicling blacks before 1619 and to 2020 and 2021. Themes in his work showcase heroism, kingship, fertility, and religions of the antiquity of West Africa, as well as those found in the Afrikan Diaspora. A native of Louisiana, his work is in the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Abstract Afro-Caribbean artist Bulsby “Buzz” Duncan, born in Kingston, Jamaica, and raised in Washington, is a self-taught artist whose work can be described as abstract, with deep emotion and energy. With each brush stroke and every bold color choice, he strives to create something that speaks to the heart and soul, exploring his creativity and articulating the peace and unity he wishes to see throughout the world.
One of the artists represented by The Zebra Gallery is sculptor Bernie Houston. Houston has traveled both nationally and internationally collecting driftwood. The wood he collects determines the nature of his pieces. His one-of-a-kind sculpture is one solid piece of wood, inspired by the natural design structure of the wood itself.
Another local artist represented, Sheryl Southwick, explores many different mediums from painting to collage. She feels the two inform each other. Forests and mythology enchant her and are often featured in her works. She is a teaching artist for adults and children at the Academy Art Museum, Heartfields, and the Talbot County Free Library in Easton.
When not plein air painting in the greater Washington, DC area, painter Ingrid Matuszewski’s art inspirations reflect her love of the Virginia countryside – farms, barns, winding country roads, open space, trees, creeks, rivers, and pastures. More recently, she has been painting more scenes from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, featuring water, marinas, boats, and sunrises and sunsets. Her paintings can be found in private and corporate collections nationally.
The gallery’s month-long exhibition will kick off with a basketball-themed reception on March 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. with a DJ and refreshments, as well as a ‘basketball wall’ created by different artists; proceeds to be donated to a local organization. Shelton Hawkins will be at the gallery on March 2 from 2 to 4 p.m. for a “Meet the Artist” event. The theme will continue with an artist talk later in the month by Bernie Houston, a Black sculptor, whose work is currently in the front window of the gallery. Proceeds from the events will be donated to the local nonprofit, The Foundation of Hope, whose mission is to empower girls and women to be successful leaders.