“Heritage” Exhibit features African American Artwork on Display at Gaithersburg Activity Center

“Heritage” Exhibition

In celebration of African American History Month, the City of Gaithersburg presents “Heritage,” an exhibit featuring the artwork of Dorothy Brooks, James E. Murphy, Jr. and Rodney Sikdar, on display through February 21, 2016, at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park, 506 South Frederick Avenue, Gaithersburg, Maryland. Viewing hours are Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dorothy Brooks was born in Washington State, a place she considers one of the most beautiful places in the continental United States. Most of her formative years were spent growing up on the East Coast, during a time when the diversity of life and culture changed at a very fast pace. Brooks began her fascination with art at an early age during a class trip to the National Museum of Art. While standing in the corridor, she was so overwhelmed with a multitude of feelings she decided there was only one thing important enough to become in her life and that was an artist. Brooks wanted to help others feel what she felt when viewing the artwork. She began drawing in pencil at age seven, and at twelve, she was working with oils. While Brooks has tried other mediums over the years, she recognized that oils were her one true love. It is a medium with great flexibility and life that speaks deeply to her. More of her work may be found here.

“For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be an artist,” says James E. Murphy, Jr. as he recalls his 4th year in grade school, a pivotal point in his life when he decided to pursue his passion for art. Murphy attended the Baltimore School for the Arts High School and the Maryland Institute College of Arts, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Visual Communication. After college, he began his art career as a freelance illustrator completing illustrations and designs for numerous clientele including Physical Therapy Today Magazine and Umoja Children Greeting Cards. Today, Murphy’s focus is on his fine art drawings, paintings and reproductions, which he distributes through his own company, Something For Your Soul Fine Arts. His list of accomplishments continues to grow as his art has been featured in various exhibits, numerous art shows and festivals and on Baltimore’s WJZ-TV Channel 13. Murphy sums up his work by simply stating, “I am a husband and a father, a man of faith as well as a man of color; it is these experiences that I seek to explore and express in my art.” More of his work may be found at www.somethingforyoursoul.com.

Rodney Sikdar was born 1989 in West Africa. His artistic skills were noticed as early as the age of five when he started drawing and molding with clay. By nine, he realized he had gifted artistic hands and worked on his art continuously on his own, developing his skills in both drawing and painting. In 2007, he had the opportunity to participate in a 40-hour intensive visual arts course sponsored by the International Research Institute of Africana Heritage and was awarded a certificate. His work has been displayed in prestigious exhibits in Monrovia, Liberia, including a historic exhibit regarding the Ebola crisis. Sikdar is a member of the Liberian Professional Painters Organization. This is his first exhibit since arriving in the United States.

Please note that all images are copyrighted by the artists and most of the artwork is for sale.