Current Exhibition

from October 3rd until November 28th, 2015


Curated by Jamaal B. Sheats

October 3-November 28

Opening Reception: October 3rd, 6 to 9 pm

Closing Reception: November 7th, 6 to 9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Topography, curated by Fisk University's Jamaal B. Sheats, MFA from October 3rd to November 28th. Topography is an exhibition that uses art to explore communities across the United States. Within these communities are layers - and Topography focuses on the context of memory, individuality, community cohesion, and characteristics of social and economic (in)equalities that collectively create layers of a conceptual topographical map.

The artists represented in this group exhibition have a unique ability to work with multiple mediums, as seen through the following works:

Jamea Richmond-Edwards' "Cost of Making her Rise" is composed of ink and charcoal on board.

Detroit-born Jamea Richmond-Edwards studied painting and drawing at Jackson State University and began illustrating for The Jackson Free Press and a children's book titled "Grandma's Biscuits" by Robert Little while in college. Since graduating, Jamea has moved on to teach art to elementary, middle, and high school students while developing her own unique style of mixed media portraiture. She primarily paints women and is influenced by childhood memories and the complex lives of the women in her life. She received her MFA from Howard University and is currently an adjunct professor at American University. This work is inspired by the death of her aunt, presenting a holistic and complex subject true to the characteristic of her inspiration.


Alicia Henry's "Untitled:  Analogous" is constructed with leather, dye, acrylic, yarn and thread.

Interested in human interaction and isolation, she consistently places the human image in her works, the human figure both in isolation and in interaction with others. This work explores relationships and social interactions based on the idea of a "Family Tree." Alicia studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and completed her MFA at Yale University in 1991. Her works have been shown in the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Drawing Center, The Frist Center for Visual Art, Cheekwood Museum of Art, and Fisk University, among others. 

Wesley Clark's piece "My Big Black America," is made out of reclaimed wood. 

In this piece, Clark accentuates the cultural effect that Barack Obama has had upon the United States. Whether you agree on political grounds or not, it is hard to say that Obama has not been a positive inspiration for many cultural groups across the nation. The old wood reflects those black men and women from which the foundation of America was created, and the new generation is represented through the newer wood, presenting the new surface of America. Wesley Clark grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and currently resides in Hyattsville, Maryland. He received his BFA from Syracuse University in 2001 and his MFA from George Washington University in 2012. Clark has been exhibiting his works since 2003 showing in Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. His works can be found in collections here in the US as well as Germany and Japan.  

Alfred Conteh also used wood along with oxy dough, EPS foam, steel wire, thermo-adhesive fabric, atomized steel dust, atomized bronze dust, urethane plastic, and acrylic to create "Conduit." 

Conteh explores the fact that people posses their power solely within the actions of a group, saying about the piece, "Africans who act solely on the behalf of the interests and concerns of African people are Africans in their most powerful form, bar none." Conteh received his MFA from Georgia Southern University in 2004. He has exhibited and holds a permanent collection at the Harriet Tubman Museum and has also exhibited at the Rosa Parks Museum, among others across the south. 

Jamaal B. Sheats, who is curating the exhibition, will show a piece of Repousse' which is metal relief sculpture.

As the curator, it is fitting that Sheats's work encapsulates the themes of mapping and memory very well. Jamaal B. Sheats is a native of Brentwood, Tennessee. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Art from Fisk University in 2002, Sheats founded Sheats Repousse', where he specializes in metal relief sculpture. While Sheats has a love for art, he has a passion for art education, having been a guest lecturer at many Universities across the nation. In 2011 Sheats received his MFA in Studio Art from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Art-Boston (SMFA). He was one of five "Artists to Watch" in the Boston Globe and one of the "Shaping the Next Generation of Artist" in the Nashville Scene. He is currently the Director and Curator of the Fisk University Galleries and Assistant Professor in the Fisk University Art Department.

If you think of a topographical map, the dynamic surface helps one navigate the area in which they are even more definitively. The diversity of the medium of the works gives that dynamism to the concepts held within this exhibition and helps the installation "operate like the pieces of a puzzle - with each layered together to create a conceptual topographical map," according to Sheats.