COLUMBIA — The Relevant Youth, a student run, creative marketing agency at MU will host a virtual art event on Friday and Saturday.
The virtual art gallery titled “Black Alchemy” features Black creatives from the Columbia community. While the art gallery is online, the exhibit is at The Atrium at Tenth and Walnut streets.
Contents of the virtual art event include a virtual gallery for physical art, and Instagram TV performances hosted on the Relevant Youth instagram. The virtual art gallery is currently up on the website, but the two performances will be released at 7pm on Friday and Saturday.
This is the third year for the Black Alchemy event. The showcase is designed to amplify art by Black creatives and create a safe space for voices to be heard.
The name Black Alchemy originated when the event was first created. The long form name of the event is "Black Alchemy, The Evolution of the Black Creative."
Sidne Fonville, managing director for Relevant Youth, explained that this title is a representation and culmination of the various mediums, perspectives and talents in the Black community.
The event itself was put on by about seven members of the Relevant Youth, and includes eight Black artists and two greek affiliated performance groups.
“The goal of the event was to create a space and use our platform to help other creatives in the community who might not get the same opportunities,” Fonville said.
Isis Trebble, an artist in the show, explained that the most important thing to be done to create a more welcoming art community is create spaces for Black creatives.
Trebble said that exposure is the main reason she paints.
“I want to get my work out there because I like it, and want people to see it,” said Trebble. “It's not for the money; I want people to see what I can do.”
Along with showing off skills, art can also be an outlet for the artist.
“(For the Black community), art acts as an outlet to cope with things happening in our life,” Trebble said. “Or even just to express ourselves, we need an outlet.”
Trebble described the importance of representing Black creatives.
“Representation could lead to the next big thing (in art) in that person because the artist they were exposed to, inspired them,” she said.
When it comes to the importance of creating spaces solely for Black creatives, Fonville described the uniqueness of the Black experience.
“Because the black experience is so unique, if there is not intentional investment in fostering and nurturing black creatives, then it can be so hard (for them) to even get to a place where they can flourish,” she said.
Along with the virtual art gallery and online video performances, the Relevant Youth held a panel for its members on Thursday to speak to the creatives being featured in this year’s show.