Athens, WV – Concord University is debuting a new Art gallery by Robby Moore. Moore is a Black Appalachian artist and Concord Alumni. He specializes in mixed-media painting and uses textiles and collage in his work. He utilizes a variety of mediums and topics and recently focused on studying and bringing to life Black American Appalachian culture. Moore’s gallery is on display in the Alexandra Fine Arts building until September 15th. This mixed media exhibit is inspired by his love for old things and preserving stories that have been passed down through time. The title of his gallery is Black History Month. Moore said:
Moore takes everyday items like newspapers, quilts, pillows, and bags to inspire people to look back and see what life was like while inspiring them to push forward and realize their potential. He admits that he does not know much about Black History, but this exhibit was created to remedy that. As Moore researched and learned, he wondered why these stories weren’t talked about in schools and speculated that it was a “direct result of racism and anti-Black sentiment.” This gallery seeks to express his feelings and unspoken stories of great men and women who go undiscussed because of their skin color. He also tells his story and the stories of his family, expressing through this unique use of color and media the strife and hardships he has faced and overcome.
The Persistence of Time is a piece focused on the life and memory of Benjamin Banneker. He was an African-American naturalist, mathematician, astronomer, and almanac author. He is credited with creating the first accurate clock. It was constructed entirely out of wood and is said to have kept time precisely for decades. Banneker’s life was full of toil and hardship, he was a free African American living in the slave state of Maryland. His father was a former slave and his mother was the daughter of a mixed-race couple. His father owned a 100-acre farm and the family were homesteaders. Banneker received a formal education and went on to accomplish amazing feats despite the lack of recognition he received. Moore uses an interesting style to tell Banneker’s story, using a circular canvas as the base, giving the viewer the idea that this is a clock. The canvas is painted with red, yellow, and brown muted tones, of a faceless figure. On the figure are the outlines of a clock and the numbers beside the clock read “1752” the year Banneker invented the first working clock in America.
The rest of Moore’s gallery expresses the lives and stories of so many other unsung heroes, whose names should be known throughout America. Moore’s artwork carefully represents each story in a unique and personal way, memorializing the lives and stories of unknown names.
For more information about Robby Moore and his gallery visit www.robbymooreart.com.
by Kinsley Mankin