People Of Color: The Art of Chaka Mpeanaji

Photo by Jacob Weber
Simple yet bold colors and lines remind them of their innate power to transform any situation into something new. That’s why Chaka celebrates color and the term "people of color."

Chaka Mpeanaji (one half of the duo Riders Against the Storm) adores the power of color, and on April 22nd at Antone’s, he’ll throw on his “visual artist” hat and unveil “People of Color”, his first solo art exhibit.

Yes, there will be art and drinks, as is customary in artsy environments, but on Saturday, Chaka will take his life’s work to the next level by simultaneously launching his art and fashion platforms: Art at Antone’s and Fresh2Life.

Art at Antone’s will be a platform for fledgling urban artists to strut their stuff and build credibility in the art world, while Fresh2Life will be presented as a fashion show during the exhibit to showcase Chaka’s fashion skills.

This isn’t all for the glorification of Chaka, though.

As he says of the community, “Everything had to happen to create more opportunities for the future.” Last year alone, he and wife Qi Dada used their platforms to get over 300 artists (of varying media) paid, and they’re looking to create even more opportunities for the community moving forward.

This isn’t all for the glorification of Chaka, though.

Found Object Art and Life
Chaka finds many of his canvases in the form of discarded objects and rejuvenates them; so, many of his pieces are considered found-object art. This is defined as a natural or man-made object that is found by an artist and kept because of some intrinsic interest.

Chaka considers found objects as “metaphor for the community because a lot of [people of color] are discarded by society. My goal is to give them new life.”

Photos by Jacob Weber

The power of color, once applied, brings life back into these items and people. Simple yet bold colors and lines remind them of their innate power to transform any situation into something new. That’s why Chaka celebrates color and the term “people of color.” For him, the phrase embodies the belief that color has the power to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

 


The People of Color exhibit will be this Saturday, April 22 downtown at Antone’s. Admission is free with RSVP and it promises to be a great night of fun and entertainment for all who attend.

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