The Lorain Arts Council, 737 Broadway, is shining a light on Black History Month with a monthlong exhibit featuring local artists.
The James F. Pye Community Art Exhibit is a collection of artwork created by children attending the Harrison Cultural Community Centre’s art workshop.
Lead artist Jeffrey Pye, the son of James Pye, is a self-taught artist and began the Start with Art program at Harrison as a way to uplift the community through the arts.
Lorain Arts Council Executive Director Antonio Barrios said he was proud to partner with Harrison and Pye in showcasing their work.
“It’s many things; it’s cultural in the sense that we’re talking about Black History Month,” Barrios said. “This should be every day, but you know the whole thing is that these are the kids that live around the neighborhood.
“These are the kids that need to be looked after, and art is a huge part of that. And Jeffrey (Pye), thanks for what he’s doing. He’s been keeping them busy, out of the streets and learning, and they’re expressing themselves.
“And that was one of the big profits of art that one of the big important things that you get to express what you’re feeling and how you’re feeling.”
In highlighting depictions of prominent African Americans and African themes, Barrios said it’s important to shine a light on the diversity of Lorain.
“African American artists, we always promote the minorities and their cultures, and this is what we have,” he said. “There’s so many incredible pieces that it’s just hard to realize that this comes from local artists.”
The pieces are so large and elaborate, Barrios said it was a mighty task to safely transport them from Harrison and hang them at the Arts Council.
In addition to featuring African American themes, this year the Arts Council added a collection of Hispanic pieces to celebrate the African roots of Hispanic culture.
“But, we’re excited about it,” Barrios said. “I mean this is fantastic beautiful work and we just hope the community will come and see what we’re doing here and supporting local artists.”
The James F. Pye Community Art Exhibit will run through the end of February between 4 and 7 p.m., Friday through Sunday.
On Feb. 27, the Arts Council will host a closing celebration with a performance from students from Great Expectations Ministries’ music program alongside professional musicians.
The Rev. Marilyn Parker-Jeffries of Great Expectations Ministries said the program was created in collaboration with an Oberlin Conservatory of Music graduate to provide free music instruction for at-risk youth.