Jamaica native Dion Clark said his fine arts show will give people “cultural nurturing.”
“They’ll get an understanding of like images and the images we present to help them celebrate their past and to enable them to be successful in their future,” he said.
Clark is the CEO of the Harlem Fine Arts (HFA) show, now in its fifth year. The show brings in about 15,000 attendees and works from nearly 100 artists from all over the world.
A number of Haitian, Caribbean, Latino, Asian artists and more are featured in the four-day showing, beginning Thursday at Harlem’s Riverside Church.
Regional artists Frank Frazier and Leroy Campbell will be featured as well.
“I consider the HFA a melting platform for individuals and artists,” Clark said. “It reflects the diversity of [Queens], and transpires beyond the borough.”
Traditionally, it is held at the Riverside Church but is now hitting the road and touring additional major cities around the country, including Atlanta, Chicago and Martha’s Vineyard.
Clark, of Addisleigh Park, grew up in an area rich in cultural history. Artists including Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday and James Brown have roots in the neighborhood and “it made him very much aware of the need for people to understand the rich cultural history and see images of people and diversity that were positive,” said Philippa Karteron, CEO of Galleria Noire, which is partnering with Clark for the show.
HFA emanated from the Black Fine Arts show, established by Oprah and her partner, Stedman Graham. Clark worked on the show and was able to grow familiar with marketing and sponsorship opportunities to eventually create his own work.
Last year, the show brought in $2.7 million. A pre-opening reception was held at The New York Times building in Manhattan, and a piece by the artist Pafa sold for $125,000. Proceeds go to the Harlem School of the Arts.
The NFL Players Association, BMW, AARP, PepsiCo, Amtrak, The Queens Courier and additional businesses are sponsoring the show.
“Queens is a very, very diverse borough, and we should be embracing and supporting this wonderful, cultural opportunity,” Karteron said.
For more info on the show, click here.