Let's Play Mas Mixed-media piece which includes, fabric, found objects, oil pastels and acrylic paint, 36 x 48 in., 2015 $3000
This is a colorful piece which depicts carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. The central figure is wearing an elaborate headpiece
and a very decorative dress complete with sequins.
About The Artist
Artist Statement It is my intention to take my audience via my mixed-media painting, "Let's Play Mas". to Trinidad and Tobago. Carnival is an event that takes place each year on the Monday & Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. According to tradition this event is characterized by exuberant celebrations and colorful costumes. Many of the participants embellish their costumes with such things as tiny mirrors, buttons, feathers and sequins just to name a few of the unique and imaginative items that are used. On the streets folks are seen dancing, this is called "playing mas".
Everyone joins in the fun old and young alike. Included, in the fun are tourist from nearby islands and from countries as far away as England, Mexico and Rio.They are dancing to this fabulous music called calypso. Calypso has it's origin from Kaiso and Canboulay music which was imported from West Africa. This music came from the African slaveswho worked on the sugar plantations. Through this music they poked fun at the slave mastersand it was used as a means of communicating with each other.They told stories through these calypsos which were first sung in French Creole. the storyteller was referred to as a griot I hope that the viewer will feel the excitement, and joy that I experienced while in Trinidad during Carnival. Bio Ms. Aqui –Brooks is a native Washingtonian. She has been working as an artist for well over forty years. She is passionate and determined to make a difference in the world of art. As a mixed artist her accomplishments are notable. She is a painter, contemporary quilt maker and doll designer. During her artistic career Gwendolyn has been involved in more than eighty exhibitions, these include both solo and group shows. Her awards and grants include, but not limited to the following: *Maryland State Arts Council’s 2002 Individual Artist Award (highest award granted for Prince Georges County) .*National Association of Women Artists .* Art in Embassies Program ( purchase award) .* Art Club of Washington (selected for a solo exhibition) * .The Pen and Palette and Pen Award from the Arts and Letters Commission * Prince George’s County Alumnae, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc * Artwork featured on Television Channel 22, “Art Works” * Her art quilts have been featured in 11 publications * She received a full fellowship to Vermont Studio Center, Johnson Vermont Gwendolyn received a BFA in Art Education from Howard University and MA in Education/Counseling from Trinity College. She has been an art educator both in the United States and Africa, owner/director of an art gallery, art therapist and a consultant. Over the years traveling has influences her work, especially her trips to Africa, Turkey, Italy, Greece, Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Recent Exhibitions: (1) “ Conscience of the Human Spirit: The Life of Nelson Mandela”, IQAAfrica Johannesburg, South Africa July 24-26 2014 subsequently travel to the Mandela Museum (2)”And Still We Rise, Culture & Visual Conversations,” National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 20013 (3”)Textural Rhythms: Constructing the Jazz Tradition” (touring exhibition) American Folk Museum, N.Y. (4)National Afro-American Museum &Cultural Center, Wilberforce, Ohio “Quilting African American Women’s History: Our Challenges, Creativity & Champions”ll (5)National Afro-American Museum & Culture Center, Wilberforce, Ohio “The Journey of Hope in America :Quilts Inspired by President Barack Obama (6) “44 Quilts for the 44 th President”, Historical Society (Washington, D.C (7) (7) “Altered Ego”, Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts, Washington, D.C.
Juried & Invitational Exhibtions
(1)”Saluting Women in Fine Arts”, Gallery Serengeti, Capital Heights,MD (2)”Gwendolyn Aqui-Brooks, Artist-in Residence “, at Iona Senior Service Center, The Gallery, Washington, D.C. (3)”Our Common Journey”, Village of Friendship Heights Center, Bethesda, MD. (4)”Aqui Is Here”, Blackburn Center Howard University, Washington, D.C. (5) “A Marriage of Colors”, Parish Gallery( Georgetown) Washington, D.C. (6)”Art & Soul”, The National Center for Children & Families, Bethesda Maryland (7)M-NCPPC “With these Hands”, (Textiles & Weaving), Prince-Georges County (8) The Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives, “Ten Artists for Ten Years, D.C. (9) House of Scientists, “Down by the River”: Anacostia, Place of Spirit”, St. Petersburg, Russia (10) Art in Public Spaces, County Executive Office, Upper Marlboro, Maryland (11)”Kaleidscope of Color”, Publick Playhouse Theater, M-NCPPC, Cheverly MD (12) The Art Society Exhibition & Annual Prize Drawing- “International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C. (13)” Natural Beauty”, The Aesthetics of the Black Nude”, Ascension Gallery, Washington, D.C. (14)”Same Tree Different Roots”, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Washington, D.C. (15)”Conversations in Dinqnesh”, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland California
(16) “Binding Threads”, The Corner Store”, Washington, D.C. (17) “Gwendolyn Aqui”, Sanitary Commission, Laurel Maryland (18) “Multi-Cultural Artist”, Marlboro Gallery, Prince George’s Community College. (19) Black Creativity ,Museum of Science & Industry, Chicago, IL. (20)Artscape, “Party for the Senses”, Baltimore, Maryland (21) “Artists Holiday Market”, “Franciscan Monastery, Washington, D.C. (22) The Arts Club of Washington, “Visions Through Color”, Washington, D.C. (23) “An Encounter with Afro-Caribbean Images”, Gallery Okuda International Georgetown, Washington, D.C. (24) “Transformation”, Sassafras Gallery, Baltimore Maryland (25) “Life Scenes”, The Art of Gwendolyn Aqui, Ascension Gallery, Washington, D.C. (26) “The Many Faces of Aqui” (art quilts), Smith Farm Center for the Healing Arts, Washington, D.C.
(27) “Imaginative Reality”: Works in the Afrocentric Motif, Mission Gallery, Old Town Takoma Park Maryland (28) “Doll Noir IV, The Graham Collection & Francine Haskins Studio, Washington, D.C. (29Artist in Our Mist “Bahia “A Spiritual Encounter”, Washington Gas Windows. Washington, D.C.