NOW DISPLAYING “GRAFFITI” @ HOUSE OF ART GALLERY

18 Nov

The evening of Saturday, November 15th was a spectacular one for visual/urban artist Frank Morrison. The illustrator had a great time showcasing his latest work called GRAFFITI at House of Art gallery in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY.

For weeks on end, anticipation was high, as many throughout the community felt the excitement in the air as the date of the event crept upon them. Flyers had been posted upon the outside display of local businesses and art pieces of Frank Morrison’s exhibit were being teased in plain view by House of Art gallery owner Richard Beavers as each day passed.

What it all culminated into was something special. By night’s end approximately 150 people had visited the gallery. Some of them staying, and some of them passing by as they all soaked in the wonderful aesthetics of Morrison’s work. The most intriguing aspect of the evening, however, was a graffiti styled bicycle that was centered right in the heart of the gallery.

As the night pressed on, the gallery began to look like a mini-concert as 200+ people were present with the gallery during its midway point at 8:30PM. By that point, the music was rocking and everyone in attendance was noticeably having a good time with wine in hand  as they chattered about Morrison’s graffiti.

One person that was truly in awe of the evening’s turnout was gallery owner/director Richard Beavers, as he socialized with any one that came across him and took pictures with any fan of Frank Morrison or friend of the gallery.

During the latter portion of the exhibit, Beavers had the DJ, stop the music as he took the time to address all the people in attendance and as well for thanking them in coming out. As he soaked in the good evening vibes of all the folks present in the room, he spoke with clarity in terms of the purpose of his venue, “The whole premise behind the gallery is that we wanted to give artists an opportunity and whose work really represented everyday life in the inner city or urban environment,” revealed Beavers. He then added, “Seven years ago when I opened up this gallery I was asked, “who’s going to buy art?” Especially in this neighborhood, and I said, “we’re going to buy art””.

A short while after Beavers gave his final farewell, it was then Frank Morrison’s turn to speak upon what had become a resounding evening for him. As he stepped to the center of the stage, Morrison said, “Sometimes, you just gotta sit back and drink Starbucks. So now I have an open mind. I’m looking at my pieces and I’m wondering, what the hell am I going to title this? And then, GRAFFITI came to mind.”

If anything, what Morrison hoped that fans would get out of the exhibit was a sense of history as well as their roots. “This show was about a culture and generation of artists that come up in the eighties and weren’t recognized while using the form of graffiti to actually be known. Graffiti to me really is all about kids basically not having the chance or opportunities. Every generation has its own art form. It just comes down to that. And this is the art form of our generation.” said the artist.

After the night’s exhibit was over, Morrison found the time when he wasn’t taking pictures to speak his mind upon young artists that aren’t fully positioning themselves for their chance at success. He said, “If an opportunity knocks upon your door, you have got to be prepared. If you are not prepared for opportunity, then you should not have any expectations for what those opportunities bring. I came from nothing to where I am right now. I came from a shelter to where I am right now.”

The beauty about art exhibitions such as the one that occurred at the gallery this past weekend are that families usually bring their kids and people from diversifying backgrounds come out to show their ultimate support. Situations such as those take graffiti and evolve it into another  kind of artistic experience. Moments such as those are priceless and their ones that Morrison as an artist certainly relishes. “I think it’s a wonderful thing because it brings cultural and generational gaps together. Everyone can appreciate it, its worldwide,” he said.

Before making his way back inside of the art gallery to prepare for his following day which consisted of children workshops, Morrison finalized his night by stating,  “I do appreciate the sales. I do appreciate when people give great comments. But what motivates me is the next piece. My next project is with Tom Shews. I’m going to be out of the fine art world for about three months or so. I’ll also be doing some sketches for my next showing with Richard. We’re going to make that come into fruition for next year’s show.”

The most memorable quote of the evening belonged to the gallery director Richard Beavers himself, as he left the audience with something to think about before they all filed out heading back to where they had come from. Beavers caught their attention by saying, “There are so many things that we support but we need to support the arts. At the end of the day, we’re going to be okay but we need to be more conscious.”

Supporting of the arts was what happened at the gallery, indeed.

Frank Morrison’s GRAFFITI is now showing at House of Art Gallery in the BedStuy neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York from November 15th to December 14th. For more info on the artist be sure to connect with him on Facebook or visit his astonishing website at http://www.morrisongraphics.com

 

 

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