Image courtesy of Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art

To fully understand the “Off the Plantation” exhibit, the organizers say you must experience it in person. Part One of the two-part series will debut this weekend at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art and predominantly features Black creators. 

Gallery owner Sonya Pfeiffer said the exhibition is the result of an ongoing conversation that began in 2019.

“This two-part exhibition is meant to provoke thought and draw the viewer into the world of artists who have been marginalized by a system that expects a certain level of assimilation,” she said.

Event organizers and artists have been keeping further details about the exhibition top secret. One of the featured artists, Carla Aaron-Lopez aka “kingcarla,” explained the reason behind the secrecy.

“The reason why we are keeping a lot of it secret is because if I tell you, are you still going to come?” she said jokingly. “But also, if you’re trying to get off of the plantation, why would you tell the whole world?”

From what we gathered, part one of the exhibit will be performative pieces through the artists’ expression of what it means to be “off of the plantation,” which has roots in American slavery.

“This is a show about emancipation from the capitalistic values that deliver a message of exclusion,” read a description on the event website.

“Off the Plantation” is curated by six Charlotte-based artists who describe themselves as artists who buck the system and challenge art world norms. Alongside kingcarla, other featured artists include Dammit Wesley, Fart.PDF, Kiana Mui, Kyle Mosher and Sir Will. The team was involved in all details of the exhibit down to the name and promotion flyers. 

“This will be all Black artists taking over a white gallery,” said Will Jenkins aka Sir Will. “[The] show is a revolution of the artists.”

Entry to the event will be limited to maintain social distancing and masks are required. This weekend’s event will inform Part Two of the exhibition scheduled for Feb. 18-20, 2021.

“Off the Plantation” Part One will be held Oct. 8-10, from 5 to 9 p.m. The event is free. Click here for more information and to register.

Janey Tate is QCity Metro’s multimedia reporter covering west Charlotte, culture and small business. The Miami native loves Erykah Badu, "Martin" and all things from the Black ‘90s and early 2000s...

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