On Thursday, Apr. 11, The Black Artist Coalition (BAC) held its fourth annual April Art Showcase. BAC invited BIPOC creatives from around Raleigh to curate a space celebrating Black art across the diaspora and beyond.

They brought food, music, dancing and laughter to the newly renovated Washington Sankofa room. Ebony Red, a DJ and NC State Alum, filled the room with immersive house beats. After Cameron “ISO” Tyler and Caleb “CCM” Underwood unleashed their lyricism and flow, Joshua Dodoo electrified the room with his street-dance style. Brooklyn Rose grounded the event with a radical healing circle, and NC State’s own Code Red stomped the house down with their step routine.

BAC also invited visual artists to showcase their work. Julian Doaks is a multimedia creative and NC State Alum based in Raleigh. Painter, photographer, rapper, producer and DJ: everything they create is deeply rooted in creative intuition and exploitation. Black Panther and experimental painter, Jack Whitten, inspired Doak’s artistic philosophy.

Laila Monadi is a fourth-year majoring in Biochemistry. Monadi specializes in traditional and digital fantasy art, spending their free time creating fictional characters for their stories and web comics.
Representing the Nine-Dime (Fayetteville, NC), Lee Chavis-Tartaglia is a graduating fourth-year student double majoring in History and Anthropology. As an Indigenous beader from the Lumbee Tribe, Lee takes inspiration from their culture, nature and family.

Myla James is a third-year studying Biomedical engineering. James is an artist with an eye for the cuter things in life who loves to take one thing and turn it into something else entirely!

Nubian Message spoke with Code Red’s Coach, Lulu Moore, a third-year majoring in Business marketing, to learn what it means to be a coach. “It means the world to be a coach. It is important to know that you’re making a difference in others’ lives by not only being a leader but also a friend,” they began. “It is important to have compassion–be welcoming, understanding and genuine. So, I strive to be that as a coach. We work so hard as a team. We fully commit and dedicate ourselves to practice throughout to look the best and feel confident.”

Brooklyn Rose, a singer, writer and “creatress” who has been performing locally for the past three years, shared their raw writing for the first time in a communal setting. “It felt fulfilling and purposeful. This is what it’s for and this is why I write,” said Rose. “It also felt vulnerable: very vulnerable, but in a completely healing and restorative way.”

Lastly, we spoke with BAC’s President, Henoc Dossou, and Social Media Chair, Jymon Ross. Nubian got the low-down on why organizing the April Art Showcase is so important.

Henoc Dossou: I think it’s good to put a spotlight on BIPOC people at NC State and give them the opportunity to show what they can do. I feel like art is what brings life– into everyone, really.

Jymon Ross: It’s very refreshing to take a break from all the studying. This feels very special to me because it’s hard to find community. It’s hard to find people with similar interests and are passionate about everything. I feel like that’s something that we’re starting to do.

Dossou: I really liked your mindset about it being special for people. Because, for a lot of people, it’s something they need to do. It’s almost like life or death for some people, and I’m happy that I’m a part of a club that can help facilitate and create a community.

The Black Artist Coalition (BAC) curates spaces for all forms of Black art. The desire to showcase, develop and collaborate is at the core of their mission. The April Art Showcase is a testament to this, as it brings together seasoned artists and emergent talent from the Raleigh area. At the April Art Showcase, no one is a spectator. We are co-authors of a cultural narrative that transcends NC State’s campus.

You can catch a glimpse of the April Art Showcase in our gallery! Let the brushstrokes continue. Let the beats echo. Let Black art thrive!