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Posted in acrylic paintings, afrofuturism, black history month, Caton Merchant Family Gallery, mixed media, Visual Arts, on 12 February 2020, by , 0 Comments

"The Day It Rained"
Written and illustrated by Dr. Yemonja Smalls
Book Reading & Signing: March 14, 2-4 PM (1st floor Gallery)

I introduce “The Day It Rained,” a story that peeks at Alzheimer ’s disease through the eyes of a little girl, whose disappointment is dissolved through an unexpected time she shares with her grandmother.  This is a love offering, rendered to present a unique interactive opportunity for open communication with children about what it means to continue to love someone who has dementia. My own experiences with my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s Disease before she made her transition, taught me how to let go, and love differently, and enjoy the unplanned and unscripted moments when I needed to adjust to her journey with Alzheimer’s.

Come hear the story read by the talented 5 year old Natalia! Signed copies of the book and prints of “Braidin” from the book will be available for purchase. Conversation and a fun interactive activity for the group too, you won’t want to miss it! Some of my original art from the book will be displayed.

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Posted in acrylic paintings, afrofuturism, black history month, Caton Merchant Family Gallery, mixed media, Visual Arts, on 7 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

Emerging Maryland Artist to Present Mixed Media Exhibit “It’s Complicated” at Center for the Arts

Exhibit Dates: February 7-March 27, 2020

Meet the Artist Reception: Saturday, February 8, 6-8 pm
(Hosted by the Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.)

The Center for the Arts is pleased to present “It’s Complicated”, featuring emerging Baltimore artist Dr. Yemonja Smalls.

It’s ComplicatedAn Investigation into the Complexities of Relationships
When used to define the relationship, the uttered words, “it’s complicated” suggest hidden or unexplained snags, trickiness or entanglement that blur the beauty of the bond. In her first east coast solo show, Yemonja selects and assembles mixed media to convey the complexities that color relationships. In this investigative show, she explores both a metaphorical and literal process of breaking, tearing, hiding, layering and cementing to yield insight into what creates and maintains unions.

Through deconstructed and re-assembled materials, Yemonja presents multifaceted layers of said connections with precision. The chemistry of colors combined are held together, and even in fracture, everything remains whole.  She presents reflections of life/death, self-love, soul-ties, and work-life balance, to name a few, for viewer dialogue.

About the Artist:

Dr. Yemonja Smalls is an artist with very little formal artistic training.  Originally from Hershey, PA, but a recent Chicago, IL to Baltimore, MD transplant, she works in the Maryland Department of Health’s Developmental Disabilities Administration.

Yemonja completed her pre-doctoral internship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Kennedy Krieger Institute, and received her doctorate from Louisiana State University in clinical psychology. She is expanding her clinical skills with a master’s degree in Art Therapy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has interned at sites supporting adults with Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, as well as African American teenage girls who experienced life trauma, and family caregivers who may be subject to secondary trauma, compassion fatigue and burnout.

Yemonja’s creations in various mediums have been exhibited in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, on the set of the famous Fox Hit TV show “Empire”, Harold Washington Library, South Side Community Art Center, Gallery Guichard, Howard University, Hill Center Galleries, the Sojourner Family Peace Center among others, and reside in various private collections across the nation.


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Posted in afrofuturism, Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 13 February 2019, by , 0 Comments

The Prince William County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. hosted the Born at the Bottom of the Ship on Saturday, February 9. We had an excellent turnout and a night full of wonderful discussion! All paintings are for sale, and we have giclee prints available by request (shipped directly to your door!). Contact jexum@center-for-the-arts.org for more info!

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Posted in afrofuturism, afrosurrealism, Caton Merchant Family Gallery, Visual Arts, on 31 December 2018, by , 0 Comments

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.

Giclee Prints & Originals:

Giclee prints can be made of any of the paintings featured in the exhibit, and mailed directly to your home address. The prints come in a variety of sizes. Please see the giclee print pricing chart below. Contact jexum@center-for-the-arts.org or 703-330-2787 for more info.

James & Zsudayka Nzinga Terrell
High quality giclee prints

Size               Price    
12x18           $260
18x24           $390
20x30           $455
24x36           $520
30x40           $485
36x36           $650
36x54           $715
40x60           $780 


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