Louisville artist highlights Black community through portrait series

The series features mothers, fathers, front line workers, teachers and more in Jefferson County.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Imagine a picture of yourself being made into a work of art. That’s what one local artist is doing – and it’s bringing out the beauty of the Louisville community.

KULA Gallery owner Charles Rice started the Melanin Art Series two years ago. The series features community-related portraits, honoring mothers, fathers, cancer survivors, front line workers, teachers and more in Jefferson County.

“[It’s] really just highlighting what’s already here in Louisville, instead of looking for national people as representation,” said Rice. He features the portraits in his gallery because these pieces tell an important story.

“It’s telling a story about [the] Black movement,” he said. That story, Rice said, is not always properly represented in literature and textbooks, which makes his mission even more vital.

“We have to have Black art preserved,” he said.

Credit: Roman Lane/KULA Gallery

Since he started the Melanin Art Series, Rice said there have been 1,500 new collectors.

Rice has plenty of new pieces to unveil and he’s hosting multiple events over the next few months, with social distancing in mind. Learn more about them on the Melanin Art Series website.

KULA Gallery is located at 536 S 4th St. in Louisville.

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