Natasha Ria El-Scari, who co-founded the El-Scari Harvey Art Gallery with artist Warren “Stylez” Harvey in 2018, has embarked on a solo venture. Like the previous gallery, the Natasha Ria Art Gallery occupies the lobby of the Center for Spiritual Living, 1014 W. 39th St. The inaugural show, on view through October 31, features the art of Vivian Bluett, creator of the Black Lives Matter mural at 63rd Street and Brookside Boulevard.
The gallery will continue to carry the work of Harvey, a member of El-Scari’s Black Space Black Art collective, and El-Scari plans to feature works by Kwanza Humphrey in November and December. “Next year we will have solo and duo shows of local artists,” she said.
El-Scari, who is also a leading poet, was moved to open an art gallery by her desire to exhibit the artwork of her grandmother, Juanita Maxine Harris Gibson. She remains committed to providing exposure for African American artists.
“Art, African American art, must be at the center of our lives like music, poetry and God,” El-Scari said in a recent email. “Art reminds us to be hopeful, allows us to contemplate the ugly and to celebrate everyday life and beauty.
“This has been my dream and my passion to exhibit the work of people who may never see the places deemed grand,” she added. “I believe we can and should celebrate each artist and give them a space to feel respected, appreciated and valued. I desire that every home have at least one piece of original art to help keep time and history.”
Natasha Ria Gallery hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and by appointment, 816.830.9093. The new landing page, www.natasharia.com/gallery, is currently under construction. Visit facebook.com/NatashaRiaArtGallery/ for information.