In advance of the Harlem Fine Arts Show celebrating its 15th anniversary, some of the artists that will be featured in the February 24-26 show gathered in Harlem to talk art and the importance of HFAS's platform for "African diasporic artists."
Ademola Olugebefola is an artist that has believed in the mission of HFAS from the very beginning.
Olugebefola was one of the founding members of the WEUSI Artist Collective, and has been advocate for Black art and artist since the 1960s.
"It's the only show of its kind of this magnitude,"said Olugebefola of HFAS. ""There's plenty of art expos all over the major cities, there's none that represents exclusively artists of African descent."
Olugebefola said the show is an important place for old and young interact and learn from each other.
For Kailee Finn, a 20-year-old artist debuting in Harlem Fine Arts Show, said she is trying to soak up all the knowledge she can from older, more established artist.
Finn, who is a Junior at Fashion Institute of Technology, said she found out about the HFAS on instagram.
"I definitely feel that the world of art is opening up more," said Finn, who counts Kehinde Wiley and Angela Davis as inspiration. "My art tends to be more social political, so my other inspirations are Martin Luther King, Angela Davis, Dr. Omar Johnson. They also helped me realize that my voice can be heard and I can still take a stand for something."
The mixing of ages and experience is exactly what HFAS founder Dion Clarke hoped to create 15 years ago.
"We have artists that started with us 15 years ago, to artists that just coming on board," said Clarke. "There's one common goal and that's really to salute the arts, really expose their creativity and really learn to become an artist."
Clarke said the show has become so big that it is moving to downtown Manhattan. This years show will be at the Glasshouse event space and will start on February 24th.
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