Art Programs


Obsidian arts strives to create art programming options that reduce the barriers and increase the payoff for the time spent.  Our programs are locally crafted, fun, and explore new cultural terrain. From our acclaimed art history workshops to our thought provoking exhibitions to our dynamic group art experiences we welcome all people. No art background necessary . . . no passionate love for art necessary.  Just an interest in spend your time focused on the subject at hand.  

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Art Exhibition - Recent

Obsidian Arts Presents:

Friction Fiction - Survey of Black/African Animation Artists

Amadlozi Gallery at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center


Exhibition Runs:  March - June 2017

A collaboration between The Soap Factory and Obsidian Arts, Fiction Friction is a survey of contemporary black artists, curated by Roderic Southall, all using the medium of animation to address and contextualize their relationship with the urban landscape. The Black experience of the urban is an ideal subject for the medium of animation. With each frame adjusted and altered by the hand of the animator, the ability to distort and interpolate the surreal into the actual mirrors the experience of the other as they move through the city. The distancing and alienation of the city are leavened by a playful sense of the absurd, and of the intimate and gentle moments of human interaction that make that life bearable; moments that are themselves mirrored by the recognisable human gestures of hand-made animation.

In this survey of works, selected from a global collection of artists, a central theme is the range and variety of urban commentary and creativity within the medium of animation. Artist by artist, each film demonstrates many different approaches to the process of crafting animation; hand-drawn, collage, oil-paint-on-glass, computer generated imagery. From Tim Potluck's elegant CGI homage to the romance and regenerative spirit of urban decay to Martine Chartrand's richly textured re-telling of a folk song to Nina Barrett's sober and clear insertion of social impact onto the stark urban landscape, drawn in stop motion directly onto the window panes that show her view of Johannesburg. The Friction Fiction exhibition will also feature the US Premier of Terrance Nance’s ‘An Over Simplification of Her Beauty’, a hand-made animated love poem and urban romance.

Each of these artists lands us somewhere between awake and dreaming as they take us on frame-by-frame journey through the urban landscape they created.

Featuring the work of; Tim Portlock (PA), Ron Brown (NYC), Caress Reeves (CA), Terrance X Nance (NYC), Wideman, Africanus Okokon (NYC), Ng'endo Mukii (Kenya), Martine Chartrand (CA), Nina Barnett (IL)