Expressions of blue”, Natasha Ria Art Gallery – KC STUDIO

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Vivian Bluett, from the “Childhood Day Dream” series, 24 x 48″


Steadily making her way from emerging to established artist, Vivian Wilson Bluett is taking a big step in the right direction with her new exhibition, “Expressions of Blue,” at the Natasha Ria Art Gallery.

This vibrant and emotionally uplifting exhibition addresses childhood, trauma, healing, strength, resilience and social justice through the artist’s delicate use of color, imagery and symbolism.

With a large amount of well-hung works in a relatively small exhibition space, “Expressions of Blue” presents a cacophony of provocative images that not only satisfies for its visceral palette but also nourishes the soul.

“My art is primarily influenced by black women I know, like my aunts and neighbors,” Bluett says in a statement that accompanies the exhibit. “Having been raised in a family of majority women, I was able to experience different shades, shapes and styles of black women. My work is also heavily influenced by my childhood.

Beautiful women of color adorned in large flowing hats, innocent children integrating a separate lunch counter, an introspective young man of color fascinated by the bee that lit up on his nose, and animals wearing glasses simply living in peace constitute some of the paintings that the viewer can expect to enjoy.

Vivian Bluett, “All Spring”, 30 x 40″

One painting that stands out is “All Spring”, a 30 x 40″ painting capturing a woman with brown skin, big red hair, pouty blue lips, a floral hairpiece and a yellow top. Her eyes are closed and peaceful , and an almost meditative expression is on her face. This painting speaks of the strength and courage it takes for women of color to publicly embrace their identity in American society, and the deep sense of pride and serenity that emanates from those who who are ready to do so.

Another noteworthy painting is a 24 x 48 inch painting from the “Childhood Day Dream Series”, which depicts five young people of color with natural hair, sitting on a field of grass, looking up into a pastel blue sky. In light of several very public examples of racist acts perpetrated against children of color by other children, teachers and even police officers, this painting reminds us that all children, by nature, are innocent and want the best for all others and not just for themselves. . This includes black and brown children.

There are others in this series and each one is just as engaging as the one mentioned above.

Bluett, wife and mother of three, has been actively painting for about 10 years and exhibiting for four. She was one of the muralists for the Black Lives Matter street mural project and was also the subject of an honorary column in ‘KC Studio’ in January 2021. ‘Expressions of Blue’ follows her exhibition of fall 2020 at the Natasha Ria Art Gallery, which was the gallery’s inaugural exhibition.

According to gallery owner Natasha Ria El-Scari, “This is the second solo exhibition with Vivian Wilson Bluett and I couldn’t be more excited to present another layer of her work. With over 80 mostly new paintings in this exhibition , there is an immersion in the innocence and trauma of the inner child, a celebration of the femininity of black women and the importance of bees with a taste of Afro-futurism.

With COVID-19 in decline and things slowly returning to a new normal, this exhibit will lift your spirits, whet your aesthetic appetite, and provide you with some good things to think about.

Vivian Bluett: Expressions of Blue” continues at the Natasha Ria Art Gallery, 1014 W. 39th St., through April. The hours are from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. For more information 816.830.9193 or www.natasharia.com.

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