Passionate Soul of 44th President

Misty Brown | 1/22/2009, 1:10 a.m.

In a three-man show, titled €Inaugural Exhibition Dedicated to Our 44th President Barack Obama: Forty Four,€ the evolution of Obama as an African in the Diaspora is illuminated. Director and founder Tim Davis of International Visions€"The Gallery had a call to artists to depict the moral fiber of Obama.

Veteran photographer and photojournalist Roy Lewis, mixed media artist Charly Palmer and painter Preston Sampson are featured. This trio provides a foundation of complex and distinctive original works of arts showcasing the complexity of the president and African American history.

The saga starts with €FESTAC Revisted-1977€ by Lewis. In 1977, he was invited to be a participant at the €Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture: FESTAC€ which was held in Nigeria.
€The desire for such a festival originated with the first craftsman who realized he had a fellow craftsman in another village whose role was the same: to manifest the creative energy of his people through music, dance, sculpture, visual art, drama, and religion,€ Lewis said.

€When Africans were seized from their homeland, the hope that they felt as they stared at the receding shoreline was to return to Africa. This exhibition is about the realization of those two desires in FESTAC.€

His six archival photographs are presented in their original state to resonate the authenticity of social documentation. Lewis established an unprecedented immortalization of the beauty of the Motherland for African Americans to view Nigerians and other Africans as citizens of the world, not the customary stereotypes.

Throughout the €80s and until this day, he became the €town crier or prophet€ of African descendants educating the importance of global networking.

€Exhibiting with Preston and Charly revealed a trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost for me,€ Lewis said. Each artist reflected a generational ascent with age and their art works.

Palmer brings to his work a myriad of techniques in €40 Years: 1968-2008.€

€Uniquely, he chronicles the part of American history which is so often been overlooked. His artworks are social, political, and often focused on African American historical subjects,€ Davis said.

Sampson€s €Forty-Four Portraits€ of the president explores his vast moods in luminous colors.

€His brilliant colors and energetic brush strokes make these paintings a combination of lively abstraction and representational social commentary,€ Davis said.

The show runs through Feb. 28 at International Visions€"The Gallery in Northwest. Visit www.inter-vision-com for gallery hours.