Breathe Exhibit

Breathe: Life After Death is an exhibition and social exercise featuring four emerging African American North Carolina-based painters. The exhibition explores American life during and after the pandemic, worldwide protests for racial equality, and the consequences of social distancing.

Gennittie's Husband painting by William Paul Thomas

Gennittie's Husband
Acrylic on canvas
36" x 48"
2020
$6,000

What's Free? painting by Telvin Wallace

What’s Free?
Oil on canvas
48" x 60"
2020
$6,000

#BreatheLife painting by JP Jermaine Powell

#BreatheLife
Acrylic, resin, recycled paper, American currency, jeweled adornments
48" x 60"
2020
$10,500

In addition to other works, artists William Paul Thomas, JP Jermaine Powell, Telvin Wallace, and Clarence Heyward each paint one of the other artists to showcase how they see each other and create an opportunity for being seen. The body of work aims to empower individuals in local communities through representation.

There is something authentic, as well as effectual, in these portraits. These subjects are deemed worthy enough to be painted and documented in a manner that can work to change the Western canon, which has historically dismissed black men and women from inclusion. In the past, they have been consistently rendered invisible from the standard that is accepted as exemplary or exceptional

#NoCeilings mixed media painting by JP Jermaine Powell

#NoCeilings
Acrylic, resin, recycled paper, American currency, jeweled adornments
36" x 48"
2020
$8,200

Same Old, Samo painting by Clarence Heyward

Same Old, Samo
Acrylic, oil, and silver leaf on canvas
48" x 30"
2020
$4000

Blanco Noir mixed media painting by JP Jermaine Powell

Blanco Noir
Acrylic, resin, recycled paper, American currency, jeweled adornments
36" x 48"
2020

Portrait of William Paul Thomas painting by Clarence Heyward

Portrait of William Paul Thomas
Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas
48" x 60"
2020
$8,000

Much like the uncomfortable feeling of being the only black person in a crowded room, the sparse depictions of racial minorities in our museums, galleries and cultural institutions leaves people of color without representation and feeling like outsiders. This systemic creation of otherness is used to deny the humanity of minorities and is at the root of racial injustice.

Reasonable Doubt painting by Clarence Heyward

Reasonable Doubt
Clarence Heyward
Acrylic on canvas
48" x 30"
2020

Who Will Survive in America painting by Telvin Wallace

Who Will Survive in America
Oil on canvas
36" x 48"
2020
$3,500

Reality Check painting by Telvin Wallace

Reality Check
Oil on canvas
36" x 48"
2020
$3,500

About the Artists

Thomas, Powell, Wallace, and Heyward aim to create a space for conversation about their personal communities through intimate portraiture that encourages the viewer’s investigation. By painting subjects that reflect the artists’ own personal connections, they each find ways to celebrate black culture and mirror the broader interests of the community.

Learn more about

William Paul Thomas
JP Jermaine Powell
Telvin Wallace
Clarence Heyward

Breathe: Life After Death, Group Artist Interview

In a special episode of Curated Conversations, Mike Williams, founder of The Black On Black Project, interviews artists JP Jermaine Powell, Clarence Heyward, William Paul Thomas, and Telvin Wallace about their works in the Block Gallery exhibition Breathe: Life After Death.