Galleries at CSU present Blaque Cleveland

Futurism, Dakarai Akil, 2021, from Blaque Cleveland

The Galleries at Cleveland State University are pleased to present the exhibition Blaque Cleveland, which showcases four Black artists who have lived in Cleveland and had their art influenced by the city and region. Each artist explores their own idea of “Blackness” in their given medium. The exhibition opens Tuesday, January 18, and closes Saturday, March 19. It has been scheduled to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Black History Month, and Women’s History Month. This timely exhibition reaffirms CSU’s commitment to community and diversity.

Guest Curator Brendan Whitt has assembled these artists through personal friendship, admiration, and recognition of talent. Whitt is a CSU alumnus (‘14 BA in Journalism and Promotional Communications and ‘19 MA in English) and former CSU Art Gallery student employee. Brendan works as an independent author, publisher, screenwriter, and educator in Santa Monica, CA. This exhibition is a long-anticipated homecoming for him as he introduces these talented artists to a larger academic audience. It is also Whitt’s first exhibition under his OPAL Beatrice branding.

Participating artists include the following: Isaiah Williams with his studies of landscapes and the human form, Kiara Booker with her exploration of Black women in acrylics, Dakarai Akil and his collages examining society and purgatory, and Daivon Shepherd’s visions of young Black lives through his camera lens. This show will highlight some of Cleveland’s strongest voices in the Black Visual Arts community. Commentary on police brutality, inner-city life, and the metaphysical will be on display

Thursday Night Art Talks at the CSU Galleries will be scheduled with curator Brendan Whitt and artists Isaiah Williams, Kiara Booker, and Daivon Shepherd during the run of the show.




1307 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44115