Born at the Bottom of the Ship
James and Zsudayka Terrell
Exhibit dates: January 31 – March 4, 2019
Reception: Saturday, February 9, 6-8 pm
Born at the Bottom of the Ship investigates the identity of the descendants of Africans brought to America, and how that identity still exists in the new tribe - Blacks, who are uniquely African American while also being considered neither. James and Zsudayka Terrell address this disconnect in Born at the Bottom of the Ship by creating their own collection of portraits that feature traditional African references incorporated within modernity. Their collection of acrylic paintings is a visual exploration of who African Americans are as a new culture, community, and tribe.
At first glance, their artwork may appear very similar, but upon further study, the distinct differences in overall style and painterly approach become prominent. Zsudayka’s works highlight the black woman’s experience in America using unique linear patterns reminiscent of fabric stitching and touches of realism. Zsudayka’s patterns also consume the background of most of her paintings, entrancing the viewer in a mash of color and lively, flowing brushwork. James’s paintings are often slightly flatter in appearance and more abstract with the use of large blocks of color, bold outlines, and detailed patterns to create his figures, which are mostly male. A few of James’s paintings also reference his passion for music with the inclusion of musical instruments.
About the Artists:
James Terrell and Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell are a husband and wife team of visual artists living in Washington, DC. They paint beautiful, vibrant afro futurist abstract portraits. Both artists have been featured in galleries and museums across the country. James received the East of the River Distinguished Artist Award in 2017, and studied art at Howard University and Parson School of Art and Design. Zsudayka pursued a career in journalism before shifting her focus to a career in the arts. The Terrells work closely with local nonprofits to develop youth art programming in their community, and both have been teaching art for 10+ years. Meet the artists at the reception February 9, 6-8 pm hosted by the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (9419 Battle St., Manassas, VA 20110). Receptions are free and open to the public.