The work of Old town Bluffton, SC artist Amiri Geuka Farris will be featured in the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs’ “Spirit and Memory: Contemporary Expressions of Cultural Heritage” at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park Jan. 25 to March 9.
Farris and two other acclaimed African-American visual artists will join in the exhibition curated by Jonathan Green that reflects an evolving spiritual energy that honors the soul of life, belief and heritage. The artists Amiri Geuka Farris, Doris Colbert Kennedy and Alvin Staley are all masters of their materials and techniques. Each demonstrates the power of visual creative intelligence to profoundly communicate with others.
Artist Amiri Farris is known for his dynamic powerful artwork. His fine art combines an alluring blend of vivid colors and layered textures that evoke images of Sea Island Gullah culture. His artistic vision introduces us to uplifting moments and insight into his contemporary view of culture. He has captured the essence of a people who have preserved their African traditions of net making, basket weaving, quilting and bateaux building. In 2012, he was the co-recipient of a very prestigious award for preservation from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
His signature style of using Adinkra symbols subtly in an African dress, a colorful turban or entangled in a shrimp net stimulates the eye to take in every inch of the canvas. Deep, engaging layers invite you to look deeper into the painting, where empowering images and colors dance across the canvas in an energetic display of expression. Amiri states, “The Gullah Geechee people have preserved much of their African cultural heritage. It is very important that we tell the history of this unique sea island culture.”
Amiri Farris received the Master of Fine Art and Design degree from Savannah College of Art & Design and is currently a Professor of Fine Arts at the University of South Carolina-Beaufort. In addition to the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, his work has been exhibited and displayed in permanent collections nationally and internationally. He was named the 2008 “Artist of the Year” by the historic Penn Center on St. Helena Island, and is artist-in-residence at the Gullah Museum of Hilton head island.