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Plantains and Pigments - Akemi Art, Eijwa Ebenebe, Odera Igbokwe


Plantains & Pigments is a group art exhibition at The James Black Gallery featuring Akemi Art, Art of Edge (Ejiwa Ebenebe), and Odera Igbokwe. Plantains & Pigments explores reclamations of shared Nigerian heritage, finding the magic and fantasy within the African diaspora, and alchemizing the power of Afrofuturism.

Each artist draws from similar traditions and sources to explore color, pattern, and texture in the context of illustration. Additionally their work addresses what it means to be a child of the diaspora that is rebuilding and reclaiming identity through artmaking. Plantains & Pigments questions and answers how we as artists can reckon with the nuances of the diaspora to create new visions and images of Fantasy, Mythology, and Afrofuturism.

All three of the artists in this exhibition are illustrators of Nigerian descent living and creating on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Skxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. While our work questions what it means to be of the diaspora, we are still guests on this land that must be respected and honored.

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Akemi Art -
Akem is a black Canadian artist living and working in Vancouver, BC. Akem is a background painter in the 2D animation industry and a writer and illustrator working on picture books and comics.

Ejiwa Ebenebe -
Ejiwa Ebenebe (called Edge by most) is an illustrator and artist who focuses on creating ornate, decorative paintings that draw from elements of nature and humanity. Themes such as mystery and ornate opulence have always been particularly fascinating to her, and she love to experiment with various mediums and techniques.

Odera Igbokwe -
Odera Igbokwe is an illustrator and painter located in Vancouver, BC by way of Brooklyn, NY. Odera loves to explore storytelling through afro-diasporic mythologies, black resilience, and magical girl transformation sequences. Their work alchemizes color, movement, and queer magic to weave together ancient narratives with afrofuturist visions. You can also find Odera as manager of Every Day Original, curating and collaborating on zines, or combo-breaking the internet.