Art Village Gallery Celebrates Black History Month in First Exhibition of 2020

In celebration of Black History Month, the seventh edition of the Out of Africa exhibition series returns to Art Village Gallery and the South Main Arts District bringing contemporary art from Africa and its Diaspora to the forefront. Known for presenting extraordinary international artwork, the gallery will present Negritude, The Igbo Has Landed, new artwork by Nigerian artist, Gerald Chukwuma, which marks the artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States.

The exhibition launches on Friday, February 7, 2020 from 5pm-7pm, offering a special Collector’s First Look + Press Reception where media and invited guests will join curator, Sheila Urevbu, for a private first look complete with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Starbucks will feature coffees from the continent of Africa and provide lite bites at the formal public opening on Saturday, February 8 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm for attendees. The exhibition will run through Saturday, February 29, 2020. The artist, arriving from Lagos, Nigeria will be in attendance at both events.

Chukwuma’s exhibition will center around Igbo (EE-BO) Landing, a historical site at Dunbar Creek on St. Simons Island, Glynn County, Georgia where one of the largest mass suicides of enslaved people took place in 1803. Traveling to the Georgian coast, Igbo captives from what is now Nigeria, took control of their slave ship and committed mass suicide as a resistance towards slavery.

Gallery Director, Sheila Urevbu commented, “I am honored to bring such an important piece of Black History to the forefront. Being able to educate and highlight the artistic retelling of this event is deeply personal and certainly in keeping with the gallery’s mission.

In addition to the exhibition, Art Village Gallery will offer an exciting schedule of special events, dinners, lectures, talks and performances to complement the exhilarating experience (listed below).

Gerald Chukwuma (b. 1973, lives and works in Nigeria) graduated in 2003 with First Class Honours from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Chukwuma is one of Nigeria's fastest rising contemporary artists, noted for his intricately crafted sculptures on wood panels. The materials he chooses are common enough; however, using in his unique way a range of techniques — including burning, chiseling and painting — he captures a richly layered history that is imbedded with personal and political meaning. The use of traditional Uli and Nsibidi symbols links his work to the Nsukka art tradition which is credited with expanding and modernizing the Igbo cultural aesthetic.

Meanwhile, the transformation of found objects into highly detailed artworks roots him firmly in the contemporary moment, with its concern for rapid environmental and ecological change. Throughout his work — which embraces painting, sculpture and collage — Chukwuma explores migration as a constant process of transformation and reinvention. With the implications of globalization on his local community always in mind, Chukwuma transforms everyday materials to render new stories of Nigeria's sociopolitical landscape. The artist is drawn to the movements of people through voluntary and forced migration as a vital stage in the progress of our collective humanity.

About Art Village Gallery: Art Village Gallery is a contemporary fine art gallery located in the historic South Main Arts District in Memphis, TN and has the primary purpose of supporting and promoting the work of emerging international artists. Founded in 1991 by artist Ephraim Urevbu and currently led by Sheila Urevbu, the gallery has established a reputation for designing and curating culturally significant exhibitions and experiences that inspire an appreciation for diversity and culture.


Collector’s First Look + Press Reception | Invitation Only

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2020 Opening Party | 5:30 – 8:30 pm

Art + Film | Daughters of the Dust, Screening | 5:30 - 8:00 pm | Ticketed

Art + Culture | Exhibition Dinner & Dialogue: Nigerian Edition |7pm – 9pm | Tickets online only


Art + Music | Beats of Africa Dance Party | 7:00 - 10:00 pm | Ticketed

Art + Culture | Lecture and Tour | Visit often for updates


For press inquiries, please contact: Khalifa Kofi, Art Village Gallery, +1 901 521 0782 or
For sales inquiries, please contact: Sheila Urevbu, +1 323 487 9776 or

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Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm | 410 S Main Street | Memphis, TN | 901.521.0782 |