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New BESS Art Exposure exhibit will feature African-American artists

Visitors check out art at the BESS Art Exposure gallery in Merrillville.

BESS Art Exposure's latest exhibit "Loving The Skin I'm In" features the work of several local African-American artists.

Mark McPhail, Maurice Hodo, Afi Ese, Cojuan Watson, Davante Mosby, Derick Pullen, Hope Villarreaul-Sams, Kenard Jackson, Kisha Montgomery, Nia Simone Montgomery and Jesse Johnson are showing their artwork at the gallery at 5386 Broadway in Merrillville, just south of the Gary border. The exhibit, which runs through Oct. 31 showcases "art of all styles, ardently created by experienced artists who put thought and meaning into every stroke and or form of their art."

Featured artists include Hodo, a Chicago-based painter known for his vibrant and colorful pieces, and Indiana University Northwest Professor Mark McPhail, who's also a photographer who produces large works.

All of the pieces are "bold and eye-catching, creative African American culture," said Johnson, who owns the gallery.

"Afi Ese's work is brilliant," he said. "Ese has a creative and phenomenal way she structures her subject matter in a realistic fashion. Ese smoothly blends her colors and adds contrast, emphasis and depth to her piece titled 'Le travail d’une mere' (A mother’s job)."

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The exhibit is free and open to the public. 

A reception with live music will take place from 3  to 7 p.m. Oct. 26.

For more information, visit bessartexposure.com, call 219-318-3816 or find the BESS Art Exposure on Facebook or Instagram.

To support the gallery and its mission of bringing art to the community, visit gofundme.com/keeping-the-art-alive.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.