PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — The Cultural Council for Palm Beach County is presenting an exhibition of 25 local artists with sculpture, jewelry, textiles, painting and more. An artist included in “Karibu: A Celebration of Black Artists in Palm Beach County” says the work is important for all to see.
Cynthia Simmons creates wearable art. She says she has focused on her family’s lineage using information from DNA testing, tracking her blood line back to West Africa. Simmons says as she has meditated on finding the connection to her past in her work, turning to joy, hope and beauty. She calls her pieces “Reclamation.”
“As a people, we were lost at sea, so many of us, our culture, our tradition, our hair, our religion, our languages, but through the Almighty, we’re here and we’re thriving,” she said.
The exhibition intends to build cultural bridges between communities, opening up communication and thinking. Simmons says this particular time in our country has been pivotal for her and other artists in the show’s community, as all have responded to recent political events, racial tensions, and pandemic-related challenges.
“Karibu, the literal meaning is you’re welcome, come in, and learn. So I really pray that people do, they come in, they feel welcome, they really learn about the art. The artists. And the culture. Especially the culture,” Simmons explained.
Simmons says the exhibition is an eye-opener, even for her. She’s learned about the diversity of the Black community in the county. It also helped her to take a deeper dive into her personal history and her connection to it.
“We are all Africans, but to know and find the region that I’m from, it really connected me to who I was on my path and what I was doing,” she said.
The exhibition is presented by the Cultural Council for Palm Beach County and curated by ATB Fine Art Group. It runs Jan. 18 through March 13, 2021 at 601 Lake Avenue in Lake Worth Beach.
The Council aims to highlight works by artists in Palm Beach County. It’s open with reduced and limited capacity during the pandemic. Learn more at www.PalmBeachCulture.com