For Tacoma artist Christopher Paul Jordan, it’s a dream to curate a gallery that displays the artwork of artists from across the African diaspora.
“It’s something I've been thinking about for such a long time,” said Jordan, 26. “As a person of color, as an African American male, when I go into a gallery, I never see stuff that's really for me, and so I just never imagined that I would create art in galleries before."
Jordan’s exhibit is called “Colored” and shows off his murals that connect to black experiences. They’re experiences that he says won't be translated for non-black artists.
"There are so few opportunities and places where artwork by black people is even shared that whenever it is shared, it feels like people need to speak for the entire race,” Jordan said. “Places where even black art is featured in a museum, it’s often primarily white audiences are trying to engage, and so it leaves black audiences behind, because they're not being spoken to with the work that's created."
He's challenging people to find new ways to connect to his work.
"This show is a little bit of an experiment about connecting with people's intuition, about what an image is and what it means,” Jordan said. “It's really less about me as an individual getting my point across, but more like finding connections between experiences across place of people that are typically separated from each other.”
The colors on some of the murals are inverted to resemble a photo negative. The audience can use their cell phones to invert the colors to see the painting in a different way.
"It's fun because you get twice the art in one piece," Jordan said.
The show will eventually travel to Trinidad, where it will be curated by another artist, but Jordan wanted to make sure that the exhibit started in Tacoma.
"I grew up on the Hilltop and in neighborhood that was sidelined for so long,” Jordan said. “And there are actually several people in the show that are from my neighborhood. For me, doing this show in Tacoma is a way to help draw attention to the passion and inspiration that's here."
The show is at the Carpenters Building, 1328 Fawcett Avenue, Tacoma. The show is open 12-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. It goes until Sunday. Share your photos of the show using #Colored2017.