Harlem Fine Arts Show Connects Artists and Audience

By Jeff Mays on February 22, 2011 1:15pm 

By Jeff Mays

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

HARLEM — When it returns for the second year this weekend, visitors to the Harlem Fine Arts Show at Riverside Church will have a chance to meet established and upcoming artists and attend seminars on topics such as how to collect art.

It's all part of an effort to make the event more inclusive and a "celebration of Afrocentric art," said Dion Clarke, founder and organizer of the show.

"We've built a tremendous Afrocentric opportunity not just for people of color but for everybody," said Clarke. "It's like a second Harlem Renaissance and it's coming from a place that 20 years ago was struggling so hard to turn the corner."

Thursday is "Arts and Ancestry" day at the show and school kids from around the area will tour the show and meet some of the artists while learning about careers in art.

Friday is the opening night gala and will be hosted by former Essence editor Susan Taylor. Saturday's show will feature seminars on collecting and assessing art and sculpture and the film "Colored Frames," which looks at the history of African American art.

On Sunday, the show will open after ecumenical services at Riverside Church. There will be a tribute to Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference, and a performance of the one woman show "The Resurrection of Harriet Tubman."

Clarke said this year's show would feature more individual artists than galleries. There was such a great demand from artists that a third floor annex at the church was opened to accomodate 30 additional artists.

"We are dedicating our show to the artists, to the people of tomorrow. That's why we are giving them the ability to sell their art to the consumer and talk to them. We are giving them a chance to become young entrepreneurs," Clarke said.

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