SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A group of local artists, known around the country for their artistry and photography will be bringing their talents back to Syracuse for a special exhibition.
Starting Thursday, The Collective Display exhibition will showcase diverse artwork from four young artists at the Community Folk Art Center (CFAC) in Syracuse.
For Jaleel Campbell, the curator of the show, this week has been a long time coming. His “Jalethal Dolls” collection, debuting at the display, showcases intricate designs with eclectic patterns and vibrant colors, all hand-stitched by him. The story behind this collection is equally as powerful.
“As a child, I always loved playing with the dolls, but because I was a boy, I wasn’t supposed to and my father gave me a lot of grief about that and I became extremely ashamed of playing with them,” Campbell said.
He suppressed those feelings for quite sometime, until this project was birthed.
“So many memories I had in the back of my head were thrown to the forefront, so I had to face them and for most people, that’s the hardest part to face who you are,” Campbell said.
His artwork has captured the attention of people around the country, prompting him to start the Collective Display five years ago to give a platform to young, African-American artists. It started in a barbershop and has evolved into an exhibition inside of CFAC.
“This exhibition really exemplifies what the vision and mission of the Community Folk Art Center is all about, which is to create a quality showcase with artists from the African Diaspora and to foster a dialogue between emerging artists and established artists,” said Dr. Tanisha Jackson, Executive Director of CFAC.
One of those artists is Cristian Kaigler, a filmmaker and photographer from Syracuse. At just 24-years-old, his name is already known across the country. He’s debuting a special collection of photography from 2018 at this year’s The Collective Display.
“I actually took them after we shot a short film that ended up going national and played in so many arenas, like the Barclays and Dodgers Stadium,” Kaigler said.
The photos tell a compelling story that shows there is power in unity and knowledge.
Paintings from Amiah Crisler are also on display. She’s a young artist who has gained national attention for her artwork. Rahm Bowen’s work will be showcased at The Collective. The exhibition will pay homage to Denise Cole, a local artist and long time supporter of CFAC.
The opening reception for The Collective Display is Thursday from 6-9 p.m. at CFAC located at 805 East Genessee Street. The exhibition runs until August 16th.
You can find out more about the artists here: