Home Lifestyle Black Arts Excellence Showcase set for Saturday

Black Arts Excellence Showcase set for Saturday

Wingate University is hosting a Black Arts Excellence Showcase on Saturday, featuring the artwork of Union County native Ryan Cureton, pictured above, as well as performances by students and others. Contributed photo

Wingate University’s Unity House Multicultural Center and Monroe artist Ryan Cureton are teaming up to host the Black Arts Excellence Showcase on Saturday in the Batte Center. Dedrick Russell, executive producer for community content at WBTV, will emcee the event.

In addition to an art exhibit by Cureton in the Helms Art Gallery, the showcase will include performances by Wingate students and local talent in McGee Theatre. Vendors will line the walls of the Batte Center Rotunda, where DJ Kels will entertain. Doors open at 3 p.m. Guests will be able to browse vendor tables, explore Cureton’s art or view a slideshow about local African American leaders in advance of performances, which start at 4 p.m. The entire event is free and open to the public.

“This is the first collaboration of this kind on campus,” says Antonio Jefferson, Wingate’s assistant vice president for diversity, equity & inclusion. “In fact, one of the reasons we are collaborating is because the annual event has outgrown the Monroe branch of the Union County Library, where it was held in past years.”

He is particularly thrilled to feature the work of Cureton, a Union County native and a true mixed-media artist who works with watercolor, acrylic, oil, wood and fabric.

“Ryan’s artwork will be displayed in Helms Art Gallery for a week, filling the space with African American art for the first time in recent memory,” Jefferson says.


Poet Sheena-Maria, known for her thought-provoking wordplay, is among the artists who will grace the stage in McGee, as are vocal duet Greg and Latasha Massey and a local gospel choir.

Student performers will include Emiyah and Michelle, spoken word; and Magnas Kaikai, spoken word. The Stomp and Shake Step Team will be featured, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity will offer a step/stroll performance. The Majorettes will perform stadium dance.

Tina’s Southern Chic Catering, Isheka’s African Jewelry, Sonya’s Pop Up Shop, Earthen Vessel Lemonade, Union County NAACP and True Self Clothing Line will be set up in the Batte Rotunda.

The Batte Center is located at 403 N. Camden Road on the north side of Wingate’s campus. The Black Arts Excellence Showcase is one of more than a half dozen events held on Wingate’s campus in observance of Black History Month.

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