Black Artists Showcase held at Macon Arts Alliance
Artist Caleb Brown began painting in 2015 while at Mercer University.
MACON, GA — It’s Black History Month and the Macon Arts Alliance’s final show of February features eight African-American artists from here in central Georgia.
One of the artists featured is painter Caleb Brown, who has two pieces in the display case.
Brown began painting in 2015 while at Mercer University. Mercer requires students to have a minor, and Brown says he chose art to meet that requirement, but it has now become his full-time job.
He says that at first he didn’t like to paint.
“Eric O’Dell will tell you that I was kind of a kid in the classroom, because I didn’t like it. I’ve always been a pencil artist, so the transition to painting wasn’t easy. at first, but eventually I fell in love with it, and now I do it for a living,” Brown said.
The pieces he has on display are two large portraits of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
“It’s very important to try to preserve moments for me — you know, helping people remember that feeling, so when they look at certain people or the subject of the painting, they can be like, ‘Oh, my god, I remember how it made me, I feel,” he said.
This sentiment plays out in the black backgrounds in much of Brown’s work. He says he wants the viewer to remove all non-essential information so the viewer can focus on the crucial moments they want to remember in their work.
“I want them to feel this intense passion when you fall in love or something like that. Something like romance, that’s what I really want people to feel when they see it – to get chills, if possible. That would be a wonderful goal for me to achieve,” Brown said.
He says black art is important because it has always been a way for black people to express themselves and their talents.
“The black voice, at times, has been muffled throughout history. We haven’t always had a lot of mediums to express how we felt or just express our talents, so art is a way that has held up over the years to express ourselves even when we can’t do it with our voice,” Brown said.
His advice to other black artists is to stay curious and persistent in their artistic goals.
“Don’t give up, even if you have to take a break, take a break and come back to it because that will be the most important thing when this is all over is that you have expressed yourself honestly and authentically,” said Brown. .
You can see more Brown and other black artists working during gallery hours at the Macon Arts Alliance in downtown Macon. You can also check out Brown’s other work on his website and on his Instagram.
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