HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) — Every September, two worlds collide in the Tri-state area.
It is both Fashion Week and Art Week.
In Harlem, it is a big weekend for artists and fashionistas. At the Kente Royal Gallery on Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, Harlem artist Thomas Heath is being celebrated for his 30-year career.
His first work was in 1993, a huge canvas called “The Protection.”
His most recent work is a series called “U B Rolling.”
“’U B Rolling’ is about a continuation of rolling through life,” Heath told PIX11 News. “That’s what the skateboard is all about, rolling.”
Husband and wife team Phyllis and Dodji Gbedemah opened the Kente Royal Gallery just before the pandemic. They chose 74-year-old Thomas Heath for a solo show because of his love of ancestral spirits and his generosity to other artists.
“His work is phenomenal,” Phyllis Gbedemah, co-owner of the gallery, told PIX11 News. “It’s like the ancestors are speaking through him.”
At the nearby Heath gallery, co-owned by Thomas and his wife, Saundra, another artist in her 70s is being celebrated.
Yvonne Lamar Rogers, a recently retired teaching artist, uses mixed media collages to explore her memories and ancestors.
“I want people to look at my work and feel a sense of peace, a sense of joy, and just be happy,” Lamar Roger said.
The co-owner of Heath, Saundra Heath, loved the layered texture of the work.
“I think the work is gorgeous,” Saundra Heath told PIX11 News. “She is someone who has endured and that is an inspiration to many artists.
Both exhibits will be on display at the two galleries until Sep. 30, there is also a sprinkle of Harlem Fashion Show taking place in Marcus Garvey Park on Saturday night.