It was not too long ago that Omega School celebrated a graduation ceremony that was uplifting in the stories and success shared between graduates, family members, and friends. Now with Black History Month around the corner, Omega School will be looking to gather people again in celebration for an exhibition that will highlight BIPOC artists.
The Black History Month Exhibition will be held on Friday, Feb. 2, 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the LOUD Gallery at Omega School, 835 W. Badger Rd. and will involve many artists. One of the artists whose work will be on display at the exhibition is Sharon L. Bjyrd. Chicago-born Bjyrd has been in Madison for over 25 years and uses personal experience and an intentional approach to showing Blackness in a meaningful way.
“Living in a city like Madison with a small population of BIPOC people has informed my art in that it’s important that Black voices are included and heard in every conversation,” Bjyrd told Madison365. “So, with my art, I am attempting to destroy media tropes and outdated beliefs about Blackness and creating a new iconography that presents us as human, dignified, elegant, even regal.”
Bjyrd mostly works with acrylic paint but also creates mixed media pieces, and is influenced by artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Kerry James Marshall. The Black History Month Exhibition will be another special piece of her overall artistic achievements over Bjyrd’s time spent in Madison as she recalls, “Highlights of my artistic journey include the State St Mural project and the resulting book ‘Let’s Talk About It’, produced by Am Fam Institute, completing the BridgeWork program at Art Lit Laboratory, having my art licensed to create merch for the company Ashro, Inc, working on the Our Town Everywhere project with the Bubbler and being a juror for Art Fair on the Square and Overture Galleries.”
The Black History Month Exhibition will be a great opportunity to check out some artists of color around Madison you might know, and hopefully discover some you don’t. Bjyrd also expressed the positive movement towards having more spaces like this to showcase artists of color and gave a nod to the executive director of Omega School, Oscar Mireles.
“I’m really excited to be showing alongside other esteemed artists of color at the Omega School Black History Month Exhibition. Representation matters and there’s a lack of venues and opportunities in Madison where BIPOC artists can come together in one exhibition. A huge thank you to Oscar Mireles for creating this space and making it his business to get our art seen.”