A semi-chilly night, downtown skyline and all-black excellence, both in fashion and melanin faces, set the neo-soul vibes Saturday night (Nov. 9) at the first annual Art Noir show. Curated by the Indie Noir Market, the show featured up and coming black artists in the Tampa Bay area.
The inaugural event took place at the CAVU Lounge in Tampa, Fla. You didn’t have to be a Picasso to be inspired by the magic of this event. Vivid Afro-centric paintings and custom scriptures lining the venue created a universal, regal atmosphere that was fit for royalty.
The show featured Tampa creatives such as RoyalTee Magazine’s sponsored artist, Kayla Boronell of Kayla Moon Art, body artist, Mary Finney, Nichela Giles, Jazmin Jones, Ronika Baldwin, Jaurice Moore, Convo Unedited, Tiffany Cooper Art, Zam’ira Lakia, Nick Davis, Ron Simmons and painter, QL.
Art was also celebrated through poetry, music and dance. Performances included live music by Tampa premier band, The Rhymatics, and local R&B crooner, Rauha Ymoro. Spoken word artists, Novacane and Nicoli the Poet blessed the mic with their words. KetchMe Entertainment performed through dance.
Art Noir founder and host, Camille Washington tells RoyalTee she created the show to celebrate and promote black artistry in the Tampa Bay are and provide scholarships for artists of color.
RoyalTee: What is the inspiration behind Art Noir?
Washington: “Art Noir comes from my own passion for art. I’m a poet and I do a little dabble in drawing, But I took a left turn in my life and went the science route and I was never able to express myself creatively. I’ve been drawn to art for a long time and I wanted to make sure I gave space for artists to really showcase their work and talk about their work in a very elaborate way.”
RoyalTee: How important is black arts to you?
Washington: “That’s our history. That’s our story. It’s our version of our story. You can’t rewrite art. Art is an expression of time and our personalities, our truths, our secrets, our struggle and our lack of struggle. Our joy, a lot of times we don’t get a chance to express our joy as black people. Black art gives us an opportunity to express our joy and I love that.”
RoyalTee: What makes you a Royal Woman?
Washington: “When you think of royalty, you think of somebody who has poise and passion. I think that my passion for the black community is what qualifies me as being Royal.”
Washington is also a proud graduate of Florida A&M University. She credits the university for her accomplishments with Art Noir.
“FAMU changed my entire life,” the 2005 graduate says. “FAMU taught me how to do this, FAMU is the reason I can even put on this event, and for it to be successful. FAMU teaches you life. It teaches you how to acclimate, it teaches you how to assimilate and teaches you how to break all of that and be different and unapologetically yourself.”
The first Art Noir event was also an opportunity to raise funds to create a youth arts program at the Tampa Heights Junior Civic Association and combat the removal of the arts from public schools.
“The more support we have the more artist we could actually give some funds to so that they can continue to tell their story,” said the Indie Noir Market founder.
To learn more about Indie Noir Market click here.
RoyalTee Magazine was a proud sponsor of Art Noir.
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.