Opening reception June 8, 5:00-8:00pm

Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays 1:00-4:00

                         Weekdays by appointment

   Kidnapped Pagans, organized by Jonell Logan, founder of 300 Art Project, is a public/private art installation featuring the work of Antione Williams. Engaging in issues of history, culture, and the black experience, Williams combines drawing, painting, and collage to present and challenge the spaces that people of color occupy within our society.  This show, which was installed in Charlotte in 2017 will be on view in Raleigh in partnership with Anchorlight. 

   Kidnapped Pagans began as one model for community ownership and engagement in the arts. As an independent curator, Logan originally partnered with The Mint Museum, individual property owners, Charlotte Center City Partners and Charlotte Urban Design, City of Charlotte, to bring the work to Charlotte. In addition to being at The Mint, the original exhibition included work by Antoine Williams being installed on newspaper kiosks and private buildings throughout Charlotte.  The intention was to expand the exhibition beyond the museum boundaries, foster personal interaction with the work within our communities, and expand our collective understanding of how and where art can impact our lives. A smaller but just as impactful installation of the exhibition will take place in Raleigh, in the galleries and on the exterior walls of Anchorlight. 

   This dually-installed, public exhibition allows for a continuation of support of new and experimental methods of contemporary art making in North Carolina. Kidnapped Pagans creates a timely and creative dialogue around class, race and narrative within the African America perspective. Williams’ work provides a unique opportunity to engage contemporary art, culture, narrative in a way that can foster greater exchange and understanding in a growing and learning city.

About the Curator:

Kidnapped Pagans is organized by Jonell Logan, an independent curator and founder of 300 Arts Project. Logan recently curated the Lilith exhibition at The Light Factory, on view through April 6, 2017. Logan has worked at various museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Studio Museum in Harlem.

About the Artist:

   Antoine Williams’ art practice is an investigation of his cultural identity through the exploration of societal signs as they relate to institutional inequities. He has created a mythology, which have become a narrative catalogue of loosely autobiographical humanoid beings that personify the complexities of perception, which can affect race, class, and masculinity. His works of art are heavily influenced by sci-fi literature from such authors as Octavia Butler and H.G. Wells. Themes in science fiction can be analogous to the Black experience in America. Therefore, Williams has created a world of beings that personify the complexity within hierarchies of power in everyday life. These figures manifest as mixed-media installations, paintings, drawings, and collage. These entities reference the Dadaist, who appropriated and re-contextualized images from society in order to create “anti-art”. Namely Hans Arp, who considered the destruction of “signs” as a subversive act. The signs he is interested in are tropes associated with the Black body within the American psyche.

   In the vein of Felix Gonzales-Torres, Williams has a concern for making the personal, public. These beings (which are nameless) are inspired by personal experiences from a rural working class, upbringing, in Red Springs, North Carolina that related to wider contemporary concerns. Inspired by the Amiri Baraka poem “Something in the Way of Things”, these beings live in the intangible spaces that exist between the nuances of class and race. They are both born of and perpetuate the actions and thought processes due to social reproduction. They exist in an abstracted purgatory.