PHOTO TEST: Fourth Annual CAGS Features Work From Over 100 Artists of Color

by Susan Fried


The Fourth Annual Color Artists Exhibition and Symposium (ACES) took place over the weekend of April 2-3, both virtually and in person at LANGSTON (formerly Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute). The BIPOC-led, community-organized event featured the work of over 100 BIPOC artists, live performances, film screenings, artist talks, and workshops and opportunity tables .

Presented by Shunpike, an organization that provides programs, resources and funding for the arts in Washington State, the free event celebrated BIPOC artists and facilitated networking and knowledge sharing among attendees and community groups. Representatives of organizations like The Vera project, Trust of the Artist, 4Culture, Pratt Center for Fine Arts, totemic starand others were available at the opportunity tables to discuss upcoming grants and artist opportunities. Pro Bono ASL, a group of professional deaf and hearing interpreters from BIPOC provided ASL interpretation for in-person and virtual programming. Some of the featured artists were multimedia artists Jia Jia; painter, filmmaker and sculptor barry johnson; artist and storyteller Sindhu Surapaneni; social circus performing group Celestial Circus; rapper Huey the artist; and much more.

Speakers included an artist and a young mentor Scott Méxcal, who gave a lecture on the decolonization of art history; artist Jasmine Iona Brown who spoke about his work sculpting a bronze memorial statue of Billy Ray Shirley III in Tacoma; and musician Eduardo Mendonca who presented a workshop entitled “The Art of Inclusion While Having Fun”.

For a complete list of all artists and presenters, as well as highlights from previous years, visit Shunpike’s official ACES website. website.

A couple view some of the art at the ACES exhibit on Sunday, April 3, 2022 in LANGSTON. The fourth annual BIPOC-led, community-organized event featured in-person and virtual programming, including live performances, presentations, workshops, film screenings, artist talks and opportunity tables of artists. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo showing Rell Be Free speaking into a microphone on stage at ACES.
Musician, underground educator and creative Rell Be Free delivered the keynote address for the fourth annual ACES on Sunday, April 3, 2022 at LANGSTON. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo depicting Huey the artist in a blue jacket singing into a microphone.
Huey the Artist performs during ACES. More than 100 artists of color were featured over the weekend of April 2-3. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo showing a group of people seated while listening to a speaker present a lecture at the front of the room.
Dozens of people attended the lecture “Decolonizing Art History: Contextualizing Colonialism Effects on Western Art History, the Creation of Museum and Abolitionist Aesthetics”, by Scott Méxcal. The conference was presented both virtually and in person at LANGSTON. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo representing Sridevi Kanduri in traditional Hindu dress on stage.
Bharatanatyam dancer Sridevi Kanduri performed as part of the Unity in Diversity dance show at ACES. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo collage of The Celestial Circus Showcase performing at ACES.
The Celestial Circus showcase was one of dozens of performances featured at the fourth annual ACES in LANGSTON. (Photo: Susan Fried)
Photo featuring Danny Alvarado performing a celestial circus performance on stage at ACES.
Celestial Circus Showcase member Danny Alvarado performs Sunday, April 3, 2022 at ACES. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Fried Susan is a 40-year veteran photographer. Her early career included weddings, portraits and commercial work – moreover, sheI’ve been the Seattle photographer for The Skanner News for 25 years. His images appeared at the University of Washingtons The Daily, The Seattle Globalist, Crosscut and many more. She was a emerald contributor since 2015. Follow her on Instagram @fried.susan.

📸 Featured Image: After being introduced by artist Esther Ervin (left), artist Stephanie Morales (right) gave a talk at ACES about how her Afro-Latin and Filipino backgrounds – as well as his interest in travel, social justice and multiculturalism – influence his work. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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