3:37 AM / Friday July 1, 2022

27 May 2022

Local artists, performers and entrepreneurs shine brightly at ‘The Colour of Culture: A Celebration of the African Diaspora’ event

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
May 27, 2022 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: Artist Gail Lloyd of Germantown, displays a trilogy of African busts at The Colour of Culture Art Show on Saturday. (Photos: H. Michael Hammie)

By Sue Ann Rybak

This past weekend, FunTimes Magazine, in collaboration with The Philadelphia Sunday SUN, Elebration, Sol Fed and ZBE Productions, hosted “The Colour of Culture: A Celebration of the African Diaspora” — a free community African art gallery featuring local visual artists, musicians, singers and spoken-word artists at newly renovated Fun Times building, located at 1226 N. 52nd St. in West Philadelphia. 

The festivities were part of a multicultural mission to showcase the arts, culture, music, education and small business while celebrating the importance of investing in the local cultural economy. The event also opened up the building as a space for the community.

The goal of the event was to bring African American, African and Caribbean communities together in Philadelphia through diversity and grassroots community engagement. 

TOP LEFT: WEST PHILLY WOOD SCULPTOR IKRU (pronounced Eye Crew), a Jamaican-born artist and musician, displays several pieces of his artwork at The Colour of Culture Art Show Saturday. Ikre, who got his start selling his work at public subway entrances, says his art is “authentic, relaxing and is just nice.”

Rupert E. Salmon, Terrence L. Gore, Gail Lloyd, Nile Livingston, Niambi Brown and Rashied Amon were just a few of the artists whose works were on display.

Jamaican native Salmon, known as Ikuru, with his wide smile and bubbly face, was the first person you saw when you entered the first floor of the building. His expressive eyes lit up like a pinball machine when he talked to curious onlookers about his artwork including two framed pieces entitled “Life.” He stood in front of the image of a women carved from pine. The piece was framed on a red background next to a companion piece of a man whittled in a mahogany-frame on a yellow background. 

In addition to wood carving, the versatile Ikuru sketches, paints, writes poetry, makes pottery and works with marble. 

He currently has an exhibit, entitled “Moon at Night,” at the Parkway Central Branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia, located at 1901 Vine Street . He describes his art as “authentic, relaxing … and just nice.” 

ARTIST AND EXHIBITOR GAIL LLOYD explains the intricate artistic technique applied to create part of the neck portion of her sculpture.

Gail Lloyd of Germantown also had her artwork on display. Before becoming a professional sculptor three years ago, she worked in the independent film industry. 

“I always loved working with clay,” she said. “I just didn’t envision it in my future [as a career].”  

Lloyd, originally from Washington, said working with clay is very organic compared to film, which has become more digital and less tangible.  She believes ultimately there is life to her art, producing sort of “a spirit in the clay that comes alive after the clay hardens.” 

Lloyd added that her artwork is “memory-inspired,” and that she doesn’t use models. Besides doing pottery, Lloyd enjoys painting with acrylics. If you missed her artwork, don’t worry. She currently has a piece on exhibit at The Colored Girls Museum in Germantown.  

Nearby, Masie Blu, a singer and entrepreneur from Roots Generate, was showcasing a different kind of art. She was promoting authentic homemade jewelry and fashion accessories made by tribes in Kenya, Ghana and other places a continent away. 

PUBLISHER ERIC NZERIBE AND JEFF BROWN, OWNER OF SHOPRITE — an event sponsor — enjoy the art gallery and music celebrating the African diaspora at The Colour of Culture Art Show this past weekend in West Philadelphia. Hosted by FunTimes Magazine, the goal was to highlight the authentic and diverse contributions of local artists, creatives and businesses in communities of color representing the African, African-American and Caribbean cultures.

Upstairs in the two-story building, Jeff Brown, the founder, president and CEO of Brown’s Superstore, LLC, co-sponsored the event. He has supported many causes in underserved communities. The two-day celebration featured live performances by singers, musicians and spoken-word artists presented by Milena of Sol Fed Open Mic and the all-female band Black Canvas and the Sounds of Diaspora with DJ Reezey showcasing cultural indigenous Afro and Caribbean music. Brown even took behind the controls of the turntables to learn a few riffs with DJ Reezey.

The event also featured a panel discussion on Black Arts and Liberation that included Tiffany Bacon, an actor, radio personality and fashion designer; Arabia Richardson, a self-proclaimed “dancivist,” Terrence L. Gore, a multimedia artist, and several others. Gore is an inspiration and shared his journey of living with a rare progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), caused by HIV. The expression of his artistry is part of his healing therapy.


Zane Booker of West Philadelphia participated in the panel discussion. Before injuring his ankle, he performed nationally and internationally with several dance companies such as The White Oak Dance Project, Fosse International Tour and The Philadelphia Dance Company. 

Booker, who was the deli manager at the ShopRite on Island Avenue at one point, said he took the job to start rebuilding himself. Thanks to Brown and his unique business incubation program, which partners with local entrepreneurs providing retail space to sell their products, Booker will open “Brown Street Café” inside the supermarket in the fall.

“We closed the hoagie bar in our store, and in the back of my mind, I thought it would make a beautiful coffee bar,” Booker said. “So when ShopRite’s business incubation program presented itself, I made a pitch.”

Booker added the store is named after the street where he was born. 

In addition, while working at ShopRite, Booker started the Kitchen Table Dance Collective with Meredith Rainey, Chandra Moss-Thorne and Danielle Curricato to help educate and support Black dancers. 

Booker’s boss Brown, who owns 10 ShopRites and two Fresh Grocer stores in the Philadelphia region, said he champions community endeavors like The Colour of Culture event and entrepreneurial programs that give back to neighborhoods.

“It’s all about the community, connections and relationships, building each other up and being curious about culture, religion, art, customs and anthropology, and looking at that in a positive way to learn about other people’s culture,” Brown said. “Once we know and trust each other and have a love for each other’s cultures, we can make magical things happen.”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Testimony: Trump fought security official for control of the presidential SUV on Jan. 6, demanded to be taken the Capitol as the insurrection began

June 28, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump rebuffed his own security’s warnings about armed protesters...


Guest Commentary
Solutions, not excuses; People are dying every day

June 25, 2022



Community College of Philadelphia to pay off $1.4 million in outstanding student account balances

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Community College of Philadelphia announced that it will pay off more than $1.4...

Color Of Money

Americans still have financial goals, just not sure how they will reach them

June 24, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT If you have a vision for where you’d like to be financially...


Takeaways: Trump’s mind ‘made up’ on fraud ahead of Jan. 6

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: A video exhibit plays as the House select committee investigating the...

Go With The-Flo

Sherri Shepherd’s talk show, “Sherri,” to air in place of former “The Wendy Williams Show”

June 17, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Sherri Shepherd (Photo: s_bukley / Shutterstock) By Flo Anthony After 13...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff