The art of Metanoia

6 Mins read

On a very chilly Sunday evening in Atlanta, a corner of Erik Coffee was filled with positive energy from the artists waiting to showcase their art to the attendees of The Art of Metanoia. The DJ invited the attendees with a wide variety of old and new Hip-Hop from current artists Smino and classic Montell Jordan’s This is How we do It.

The event was curated by 22-year-old Auriella who aspires to travel the world exhibiting black excellence through Art. Her vision is to celebrate today’s visionaries, innovators, and progressive believers of change by curating events that showcase all aspects of art.

With this being the first event of the year, she filled the black-owned coffee shop with more than 200 people who met with the artists, purchased some bespoke art and danced till the late hours of the evening to Atlanta’s very own trap music.

The masterpiece of the show was definitely watching Donice Bloodworth Jr. draw a live piece of a woman with big natural hair. Prior to the event, he asked his social media followers to pick which image to paint.

Within two hours, it was done with his own unique twist of removing the facial features and adding splashes of paint to allow the audience to interpret their own identity of this woman.

Another inspiring artist used only recyclable materials as a way of helping the environment and using items people would see as trash and something with a message. There was a sense of family and community in the room as everyone supported each other’s art.

I had the privilege of attending and meeting some of the artists. Kobe in particular was inspired by curating art of black women who aren’t as represented in mainstream media.

Kobe and Ginny.

“Everyone supported each other’s art.” Kobe (l) with Ginny Pettitt

Who inspired your Art?

“I’m originally from Ghana. I was born and raised there and came to America when I was around 10. When I was little my Grandmother used to tell me stories passed down to her when she was a child. I remember them all being about morals and while she would share these messages, I would imagine the entire scene in my head. From what the characters looked like to the landscapes they were in. Since then I’ve been making art as a way to tell a story within each piece.”

With millions of women posting their day to day lives on social media, Kobe describes how he is inspired by women he see’s on platforms such as Instagram. “Most of the images come from a variety of pictures I find inspiring on social media. I find it fascinating how each individual person has unique traits and features.”

Artist Kobe.

“I like to make portraits of people captured amidst nature.” Artist Kobe by his work at The Art of Metanoia exhibition [Ginny Pettitt]

You combine nature with black women, what is the theme and correlation behind this?

“It’s a concept I’ve been working with for a while. Throughout most of my paintings, I like to make portraits of people captured amidst nature. I like to think they are flowers of my dream like a garden.”

My favourite piece Is the iconic silk wrap on the black male, what does this piece mean to you? 

“It was a study of the black male form, I wanted to capture all the little details that make up the shape of the iconic “du-rag”. I’ve always liked the way the fabric captures light and I wanted to make a painting where the viewer interprets the story in their own way.

Timeless art

Artist JiggyKorean set the vibe at his show with breathtaking black and white Artwork. His energy was infectious as he invited people to see their current favourite celebrities represented in a timeless way. I spoke with JiggyKorean to discuss the vision behind his pieces.

Artist JiggyKorean with Ginny.

“I’ve lived and breathed art since I was 9.” Jiggy Korean poses by Issa Rae. [Ginny Pettitt]

Who inspired your Art?

I was that kid with the huge imagination. From music, movies to cartoons and even 90’s tv shows. I’ve lived and breathed art since I was 9 but when I turned 11, I devoted my life to it till now.

You have drawn inspiring women like Issa Rae, Adwoa Aboah and Aaliyah. Why did you choose these women? 

I chose to paint awesome and beautiful black women because our black women need to be acknowledged way more then what I and my peers have been doing lately. I was raised by women my whole life with examples being led by my Mum, Grandmother, Aunt and my older and younger sisters so my view on women is nothing less than a “Queen.”

All of your images are black and white, what inspired this style of illustration?

We live in a world where we intake everything at once and so rapidly with the fear of missing something. I see so many artists overdo ideas or jam pack all their ideas into one that it loses it’s meaning. So I stuck to black and white concept paintings to emphasize to people that simplicity can still be the dopest.

What do you enjoy about exhibiting your work at galleries? 

I love the people’s reactions to art and watching them try to figure out my myth to madness as I call it. I enjoy the conversations with people about art and life. I’ve realized that we all want to be connected and one thing we all have in common as a community is entertainment, arts and fashion so I feel like at every art show I meet a new best friend.

A journey

Despite all of the exciting energy in the room, I managed to sit down with Auriella to ask what fueled her to create this event. Her sweet and bubbly soul was apparent as she greeted everyone and thanked them for coming. Her presence was felt when she would walk around smiling at her achievements.

What inspired the creation of The Art of Metanoia?

Like most of my peers, I am on the journey to find my place in the world. I want to make an impact in an area that means so much to me, Art. By working on different projects with close friends, I discovered my passion for the creative mind, especially amongst young people in the city of Atlanta. I actually came across the word “Metanoia” on Tumblr. For some reason, it really stuck with me. The definition of Metanoia is the journey of changing your mind, heart, self or way of life. I just added “The Art of” in front of it to describe exactly what I wanted others to understand.

Auriella describes her intentions to create life-changing experiences for the attendees. “I want each guest that attends the show to experience some type of life-changing moment, whether it be through the art they see, the performances they watch, or even the people they meet at the event.”

This event was created to provide local young artists with a space to display their art in any way, shape, or form. Each event is handcrafted for every individual to experience a journey towards changing one’s mind, heart and way of life. My ultimate goal is to inspire the community as a whole.

What gave you the confidence at such a young age to do this? 

It definitely wasn’t easy starting a brand at so young because a lot of adults didn’t take me seriously as a mature business owner.  I knew that I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life stuck doing something I wasn’t passionate about.

What is one thing you always look forward to before an event?

One thing I always look forward to before an event is everyone coming together and having a great time. I love seeing people come out of their comfort zones and really enjoy themselves as well as meet people.

How do you find the artists?

I have a variety of ways that I find the artists. I go to a lot of art events in Atlanta and I also find people on social media apps like Instagram and Twitter. Since the brand has grown, I’ve been lucky to receive a lot of great submissions from talented artists.

What are your upcoming goals?  

This year, we plan on having different shows around the United States in places such as: New York, LA, Oakland, Houston and Toronto. We also plan on growing our following even more in Atlanta as well. Our ultimate goal is to have an art gallery in Atlanta.





Follow @Auriella_ to see her next adventures with @TheArtOfMetanoia.

Featured image by Ginny Pettitt

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