Black History Month celebrated with art exhibit at OMA


Courtesy of Jade Purple Brown from

Among the 13 Black artists featured in OMA’s latest art exhibit is Jade Purple Brown, whose vibrant print “Power” serves as a potent depiction of Black empowerment, individuality and vitality.

Grace Johnson, News Editor

As February winds to a close, so does Black History Month. However, the Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) at Case Western Reserve University wants to ensure it ends on a high note—with a reminder that celebrating of Black history does not and should not end on Mar. 1.

OMA is hosting an art exhibit that honors 13 Black artists from across the country by showcasing 47 of their pieces. One artist is Jade Purple Brown, from New York, who has done work for companies such as Apple and Vans using “strong figures, vibrant colors, and messages of optimism to create new, dynamic worlds of individuality and empowerment.” Her work uses a variety of bright colors and simple silhouettes—all with the goal of empowering others.

Nigerian native and metaphoric figurative painter Akindele John will also have his work displayed, with pieces that aim “to depict moods, expressions, and body language in relation to his society.” His artwork draws from a stark and contrasting palette to evoke the true emotion of his subjects from his audience.

Afro-Cuban American artist Harmonia Rosales, in contrast, creates art “focused on black female empowerment in Western culture.” Her work includes depictions of the famous “Madonna and Child” trope, but with Black figures in place of the traditionally white ones from antiquity.

Formerly a student at a school of applied arts and visual communication in France, Baro Sarré plays on the idea of an “Afropean” style in his collection of works, which are influenced by “the urban universe” and by “Africa with its mosaics of shapes rich in colors.” His work will be showcased in the exhibit as well.

These four, along with several other talented Black artists, have their work displayed at the Office of Multicultural Affairs and will continue to be featured in the coming days. Staff and students of OMA were also asked why they chose these 13 artists and what stood out to them the most about the artists they chose. Their answers will be up in addition to the pieces.

Help us all celebrate Black artists and their extraordinary contributions to the world of art during Black History Month and remember that our celebration of Black culture and expression does not end here.