“Reflections of the Black Experience” displayed in Rogers

Black History Month

"Knowledge is power and knowledge also stamps out fear. And really, fear is the basis of racism."

ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA) — A new art exhibit opens on Thursday (February 13) at the Rogers Experimental House to honor Black History Month.

“There are multicultural artists,” said exhibit curator, Kinya Christian. “White, black, artists of all different ages.”

All of the artwork has a common goal; to give an immersive experience into black culture.

“It’s reflective of the African Diaspora, life in Africa, the transport here to the United States of slaves,” Christian said. “And also, the Black American experience.”

“When we can bring in things that are socially relevant and culturally significant, I think that’s our responsibility to do that,” said co-founder of the Rogers Experimental House, Karen Wagaman.

Wagaman said this work is important in Northwest Arkansas.

“It does reflect the community,” Wagaman said. “So we want to be sure that we have black people and white people and brown people all reflected in the art people get to experience.”

Christian said she curated the collection based on the New York Time’s 1619 Project; a way to reframe how the American story began.

“It talks about the history, the first landing of African slaves here in the United States,” Christian said. “It happened in August of 1619. So August of 2019 represented the 400 year anniversary of that.”

Christian said she hopes people feel the impact of the exhibit.

“Art as a therapy is widely accepted,” Christian said. “And because I believe racism is a trauma as well, then art can be as a therapy to help bridge that gap to help heal people through something that’s beautiful.”

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