Artist: Cedric Umoja | Location: Columbia, SC
June 9 - August 12, 2023
“I make drawings, paintings, found material sculptures, murals, collages, site-based installation work, and most recently, ritual performance film work. These mediums allow me to critically explore a Black Speculative future while honoring and paying homage to a Black past. There is a focus on intersectional Blackness and the celebration of Black life in its totality, with emphasis on ancestral lineages, land preservation and African American contributions to Black Diasporic culture. These explorations include deconstructing language and letter forms, upholding cultural symbology, and highlighting African retentions in the Americas. I make work to amplify, preserve, and protect Blackness beyond the white gaze, but also to project us into a future free from systematic oppression.”
Umoja is exploring the traditions, practices, rituals, and ideas centered around the SMOKE HOUSE. A symbol of preservation and protection amongst those who lived in rural communities, as a means of sustaining one’s history, family, and self. These are paths of self-determination and empowerment as well as a deep focus on the future.
Join us for an opening reception on Friday, June 9th from 6-8PM at TRAX Visual Art Center. The gallery will be open each week during the exhibition Tuesday – Saturday from 11AM – 5PM. Admission is always free
Note: This exhibition finished hanging on August 12, 2023.
Cedric Umoja is a Columbia, S.C. based multidisciplinary artist who seeks to enact alchemical change through the use of letter forms, found materials and archetypal totems. Umoja bridges ancient and future in his drawings, paintings, murals, sculptures, film, installation work and performance.
His influences include Dondi White, Betye Saar, Max Beckmann, Rammellezee, Sun Ra and Jack Whitten. Umoja attended the Art Institute of Atlanta, he later apprenticed under Yale MFA and veteran fine artist, Tony Cacalano. He gained the gift of Tony’s tutelage under Jack Tworkov, one of the founders of the famed New York School. Umoja’s work features elements of Post Graffiti, Post Expressionism, Afro Surrealism, Modern and African art.Photo by Roni Henderson. Artist Website