SOPAC Father-Daughter Exhibition Celebrates Black Art in Various Mediums

South Orange, NJ – It is often said that art inspires more art. That is certainly true for Kelvin and Corrine Slade, father-and-daughter artists featured in “SLADE: A Family Affair,” an exhibition at The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery at SOPAC, on display from January 26–March 5. There will be a free opening reception on Thursday, January 26 from 5-8PM.

Kelvin, who takes photographs of Jazz performers, has an undying love for the musical genre, while Corrine taps into her admiration for Jazz when creating comforting abstract environments in her oil paintings. In celebration of Black History Month, this exhibit portrays the influence that Black music, particularly Jazz, has had on the artists.

New Orleans (artist_ Kelvin Slade)

“This exhibit will be unique, thought provoking and a wonderful juxtaposition of the mediums of paint and photography,” says Jeremy Moss, curator for The Herb + Milly Iris Gallery. The Gallery has previously presented an exhibition from sister artists, but this is the first time the works of a father and daughter will be displayed side-by-side. While Kelvin’s photographs are often black-and-white, Corrine’s paintings incorporate the entire color wheel. And while Jazz has been a springboard for Corrine’s art, the genre is the backbone of Kelvin’s work.

Freddie Hendrix Clements (artists_ Kelvin Slade)

“Jazz is an inspiring force deriving from a place of hope, joy and spirit,” says Kelvin. Many Jazz artists, “have fired up my soul. Thelonious Monk encouraged us to get outside of ourselves and let go of imagined restrictions. Charlie Parker let me know I can soar. Ella Fitzgerald told me the world is full of many possibilities.”

Through his camera lens, Kelvin seeks to “capture just a smidgen” of the meaning behind the music by “humbly preserving a moment of it,” he says. “My response to this refined art is art in and of itself: photography.”

Kelvin’s passion for Jazz rubbed off on Corrine over time.

“Jazz has been a part of my life from the beginning,” says Corrine. “The sounds of Nancy Wilson or John Coltrane were the backdrop to pancakes and grits on a Sunday morning.”

Santana-11”x14”-acrylic-and-oil-on-canvas-2022 (artist_ Corrine Slade)

As a child, Corrine thought Jazz was “a cacophonous racket.” In retrospect, the genre molded her artistic practice.

“It was roaring, piercing, crooning, sweltering, jutting and consoling,” she says. “Vibrations of catharsis and spirit. It was all the things that make an ideal painting. Jazz encompasses everything through sound that I seek to convey visually.”

Corrine, who has a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, creates dream-like paintings depicting black women. “The spaces I construct are environments of solace that do not exist in this reality,” she says. “Flora and fruit are symbols of abundance, growth and fertility that appear in my work. The growth of the natural world is intrinsically linked to that of the human spirit.”

Their shared affection for Jazz is a key aspect of Kelvin and Corrine’s relationship.

“With each year that passes I feel more of a kinship with the music,” says Corrine. “I wouldn’t be the artist or person I am if my dad didn’t know the wonders of Jazz.”

Visitors interested in making a purchase contact Linda Beard at (973) 382-1035 or lindab@sopacnow.org.

Click here to sign up for Baristanet's free daily emails and news alerts.