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City College Center for the Arts Presents ‘Void of Death’ at Aaron Davis Hall

City College Center for the Arts (CCCA) will present “Void of Death,” a new exhibition featuring the paintings of Atlanta-based artist Julio Mejia this fall. Curated by guest curator Susan Luss, the solo exhibit will highlight eight large abstract gestural paintings by the artist and will run from Tuesday, September 12, through Monday, November 27, in the Aaron Davis Hall Gallery. An Opening Night reception with the artist will be held on Thursday, September 14. The exhibit represents another successful step in CCCA’s ongoing effort to make art and cultural performances more accessible to Uptown audiences.

 

Reflective of Mejia’s love of family and heritage as well as his own personal experiences working at the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, the eight featured paintings invite the viewer to experience the artist’s passion for life. Overflowing with color, movement and intensity, each piece in “Void of Death” is a recent work by Mejia created during a self-imposed period of isolation meant to exorcise his demons. The creations—gestural, from a fine arts movement featuring expressive, sweeping brushwork revealing an artist’s emotions, personality and process—give voice to his journey. The large pieces are a mix of works of acrylic on panel and oil on canvas. One featured piece, a 54″ x 96″ masterwork entitled “Memoria del Fuego” (“Memory of Fire”), was created using bullets, rust and milled bone on panel and is a reflection on Mejia’s own experience with counterterrorism in Peru in the 1990s.

 

“My work has matured over the last decades into a conversation through abstraction that is now being understood through the bold gestures, visceral actions and pushing of the medium,” said Mejia, whose artistic family includes a great-great-grandfather, Prospero Dupre Cazeaux, a French impressionist painter, and a grandfather, Gabriel “Chula” Clausi, a musician, composer and orchestral director. “It is not just of the action, but of the work having its own narrative of power and lineage through its own unique dialogue.”

 

The host venue itself provided inspiration for two pieces in the show, “Commitment” and “Focus,” both 48″ x 16′ acrylic on panel pieces. Each was influenced by Mejia’s love of the architecture of Aaron Davis Hall and will be featured in prominent locations near the hall’s entryway. “Focus” will be unveiled at the exhibition.

 

“Julio Mejia is no stranger to Aaron Davis Hall. In 2014, Julio exhibited here as part of Smoke School of Art’s traveling group show ‘Calculated Resistance,’ curated by Ray Llanos,” said CCCA Managing Director Gregory Shanck. “Julio’s work was very well received and it was absolute destiny that he return with his solo show. His work is bold, daring and as gentle as the artist himself.”

 

“Void of Death” will be on display during gallery hours, which are Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Private viewings can also be scheduled by calling the Aaron Davis Hall Box Office at (212) 650-6900. The Opening Night reception on Thursday, September 14, will be held from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. For more information or to reserve a ticket for the opening night reception, please visit www.citycollegecenterforthearts.org.

 

About the Author

New York Trend is a weekly news publication that focuses on issues and lifestyles of the African & Caribbean American communities throughout the New York metropolitan area and Nassau and Suffolk Counties of Long Island. It is a respected and well recognized news publication that has been in existence since 1989. Owner, Publisher and Executive Director, Dr. Teresa Taylor Williams has been at the helm of this award-winning publication since its inception. New York Trend continues to be the only black woman-owned, metropolitan newspaper in New York and Long island. New York Trend is the largest black-owned newspaper throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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