Photo by Jesse Chambers.
Ukuu Tafari, Lee Alan Possum Doss and Hunter Bell display their work in an art show at the East Lake Theatre gallery.
The old commercial strip in the East Lake neighborhood is being revived after decades of neglect ― especially the 7600 block of First Avenue North ― and the arts are definitely playing a part.
The latest example is a new visual art exhibit at the East Lake Theatre Art Gallery Annex, 7606 First Ave. N.
“Embrace: the Cyclops, the RE:percussion(ist) & the Revolutionist” ― featuring local painters and multimedia artists Hunter Bell, Lee Alan Possum Doss and Ukuu Tafari ― began Oct. 7 and will be open for viewing every Saturday through Nov. 26 from noon to 5 p.m.
The show features “multimedia, surrealist, outsider and street art,” according to Bell.
The artists are happy to be part of the rebirth of the East Lake commercial core.
“I’d rather do [the show] here than on Southside or in Avondale,” Bell said during the Oct. 7 opening reception.
“Art is always in the vanguard,” Tafari said. “From Berlin to Skid Row in Los Angeles, the artists kind of come in first, and other people say, ‘Oh, OK.’”
Bell and Tafari said that they consider themselves, along with Doss, to be outsiders in the local art scene ― “We’re not necessarily a member of any cool-kid cliques,” Tafari said ― but they still express affection for Birmingham.
“People in Birmingham will come out and support you if you’re sincere about it,” Tafari added.
All three artists make use of found objects and unusual materials. This shared approach helps unify the show, according to Tafari. “We’re all DIY,” he said. “We also believe in practical things, in recycling things. Who would have thought of using pipe cleaners? That’s a commonality.”
Tafari and Doss each said their works carry some political and social themes, while Bell professes to draw heavily on the unconscious.
“A lot of my work deals with dreams and shadows and shadow minds,” he said.
Bell calls his contribution to the group show “a reflection of my dreams that I found accidentally.”
For information, contact 492-6888 or firstname.lastname@example.org.