- 'UP JUMPED SPRING': By AfriCOBRA artist Adger Cowans, at Hearne Fine Art.
"There are jewels in that show," Garbo Hearne, the co-owner of Hearne Fine Art at 1001 Wright Ave., said of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas exhibition "Here." She represents several artists whose work appears in the exhibition in her gallery, now in business for 27 years.
"Here." is a perfect partner with an exhibition that opened last week at Hearne: "AfriCOBRA NOW: Works on Paper." Kevin Cole and Nelson Stevens are represented in the show, along with Akili Ron Anderson, Napoleon Jones-Henderson, Adger Cowans, James Phillips and Moyo Okediji.
AfriCOBRA was founded in 1968 to bring together artists with a "common aesthetic creed," Jeff Donaldson has written, a belief that they should make art that says a specific something about the African-American condition. Like the Printmaking Workshop in New York, it brought artists together who were getting the cold shoulder from the white-dominated art world.
Hearne features only work by African-American artists in her gallery, which opened in 1988. African-American artists during the infancy of AfriCOBRA "were turned away; [white galleries] never gave them a chance. This gallery was established because of the lack thereof." She does not think that by limiting herself to artists of color, she is isolating them from the rest of the art world, but rather putting a spotlight on art that Arkansans have had little exposure to. Her gallery shows the best of what is being made locally and nationally. "I could work for the next 100 years and not show every artist I could," she said.
The artists whose work appears in the Hearne gallery will make a special visit to Pine Bluff to see "Here." They will follow that up with a reception from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, June 24, and again on Sept. 9.