Empowerment Through the Lens of AfroArt
November 8 – December 29, 2018
Reception: Thursday, November 15, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
UPSTATE Gallery on Main, sponsored by the University of South Carolina Upstate, is pleased to announce the opening of a new exhibition by Atlanta-based CreativeSoul Photography. “Empowerment Through the Lens of AfroArt” opens November 8 and continues to December 29. A public reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, November 15 from 5 to 8 p.m.
World-renowned child photographers, Kahran and Regis Bethencourt are a wife and husband duo and the imaginative forces behind Creative Soul Photography. Their AfroArt series, which showcases the natural hair of young girls in period piece clothing, went viral after celebrities like Alicia Keys, Common, Taraji P. Henson, Morris Chestnut, and Tia Mowry praised the collection on social media. The project was conceived as a way to inspire girls to love both their hair and themselves. This led to their work being featured on BBC News, CNN, CBS National News, Teen Vogue, Glamour Brazil, and BET.
“The purpose of this series is to illustrate the story of our royal past, celebrate the glory of the here and now, and even dare to forecast the future,” said Kahran Bethencourt. “With this series, we aim to empower children of color to embrace their natural curls and the skin that they’re in.”
UPSTATE gallery director Jane Nodine said, “We are excited to bring this exhibition to Spartanburg and share these beautiful baroque-like images celebrating the heritage of children of color. Regis and Kahran’s work is so much in demand with their busy international travel, it was fortunate we could schedule the exhibit and have them visit during the opening reception on November 15.”
The UPSTATE Gallery on Main is the newest addition of the Upstate Carolina University’s three gallery spaces. Located at 172 E. Main Street in Spartanburg, it is a dedicated art space that presents rotating exhibitions of regional and national artists. The gallery also houses and periodically displays the university’s permanent art collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Jerry Uelsmann, Jack Tworkov, and Beatrice Riese. The gallery is primarily staffed by students as part of an ongoing internship program where they learn how to display, research, and promote the work on exhibit in the gallery. It is open to the public five days a week (Tuesday-Saturday) from 12 noon until 5 p.m. More about the UGoM can be found on its Facebook page, UPSTATE Gallery on Main, or by calling Jane Nodine, Gallery Director at (864)-503-5848.
Jane Nodine, Gallery Director
Mark Flowers, Gallery Coordinator
University of South Carolina Upstate
Visual Arts Center 125
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303