RIBBON CUTTING: At the recent ribbon cutting for Black Wall Street Arts are, from left, Briana Cooper, treasurer, BWSA board of Directors; Nick Doctor, Mayor Bynum’s chief of community development and policy; Michael Nicholson, BWSA board secretary; Raquel Jackson, Miss Black Tulsa; Dr. Ricco Wright, BWSA board chairman, gallery artistic director and curator; and Kimberly Marsh-MacLeod, member, BWSA board of directors.
GTR Newspapers photo
The September opening of the Black Wall Street Gallery in Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District launched a 12-month Conciliation series pairing the works of one black artist with one white artist for a monthly joint exhibition highlighting diversity and unity.
The Gallery, located at 101 N. Greenwood Ave., opened to the public after a ribbon cutting by Black Wall Street Arts Chairman Dr. Ricco Wright. Dignitaries included Nick Doctor from Mayor G.T. Bynum’s office, Wright’s eldest daughter and Miss Black Tulsa Raquel Jackson, and the Black Wall Street Arts Board of Directors. The Gallery also hosted a block party on Greenwood Avenue to celebrate the opening.
Dr. Wright, who is also the Gallery artistic director, announced that the opening exhibition features the work of Tulsa artists Alexander Tamahn and JP Morrison Lans. Wright said the series will juxtapose pieces from each artist to maximize the impact of contrast.
Black Wall Street in the Greenwood District is the site of the horrific 1921 Race Massacre where hundreds of black Tulsans were killed and most of the district was destroyed by fire in an assault by whites on black citizens. Wright created Black Wall Street Arts to be part of the solution for Tulsa’s race relations, bringing white and black residents together in leadership, while also promoting connections between Tulsa businesses and artists. As the 100th anniversary of the 1921 Race Massacre approaches, Wright is focused on building bridges by creating more opportunities for dialogue. Black Wall Street Arts, created in July 2018, has already risen as a leader in mediating conciliation for ‘One Tulsa’ while promoting new artistic projects.
The mission of Black Wall Street Arts is to create platforms, grant access, and bridge the gap in Tulsa. In addition to the gallery, Black Wall Street Arts is the umbrella organization for Black Wall Street Theatre, Black Wall Street Visual Arts Agency, black Wall Street Creative Arts Agency, and the Black Wall Street Education Initiative.
The Black Wall Street Arts Board of Directors include: Shawn Crawford, vice chairman; Crystal Patrick, secretary; Briana Cooper, treasurer; Steve Stephens II; Victoria McArtor; Hannibal B. Johnson; Barbara Thompson; August Calvin Freistedt; Samuel Richards; Kimberly Marshal MacLeod; Quraysh Ali Lansana; Rebecca Marks-Jimerson; Mike Nicholson; and Michelle Firment Reid.