Can We Talk

Can We Talk

February 8 – March 10, 2023 at City Lights Gallery, 265 Golden Hill St. downtown Bridgeport CT Gallery Hrs: W-F 12-5 pm, Sat 12-4 pm
Artists’ Reception Saturday, February 18, 6-8:30 pm
Can We Talk exhibit at City Lights Gallery, lead curator Iyaba Ibo MandingoA collaborative exhibit designed and curated by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo with support from City Lights Gallery. Artists present art that reflects a range of questions and comments that are relevant to the social pandemic of the recent years.

Can We Talk exhibit features visual art + video+ spoken word + conversation by Greg Aime, Ina Anderson, Carlos Biernnay, Bill Bored, Warren Bryant, Janine Brown, Will Corprew, Claude Desir Jr., Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Suzanne Kachmar, Willie Scaife, Lisa Seidenberg.

Don’t Miss the Artists’ Reception/Artists Talk Saturday, February 18, 6-8:30 pm

During the artists’ reception there will be live music by Luke Rodney and an artists’ talk and improvisational performative conversation led by Iyaba Ibo Manidngo and Rev. Ina Anderson. The conversation will be based on the anonymous questions attendees feed into the Eshu sculpture created by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo.
Eshu by Iyaba Ibo Mandingo for Can We Talk at City Lights Gallery

This Eshu sculpture is a Yoruba deity representing the moment at the crossroads, where it is our responsibility to find our personal truth and make choices and actions that actively impact our destiny. We propose the questions to Eshu and then do the work to find our truth and make choices.

Can We Talk? Feed your thoughts and questions to the Eshu.
What are those questions that you’d like to ask during these fraught times of polarization, fake news, post-pandemic social volatility which may be overt or suppressed. Write them down anonymously and feed them to Eshu. Your questions will be presented in an improvisational interaction between Iyaba Ibo Mandingo and Ina Anderson. Audience members will have an opportunity to discuss afterwards.  

Something that artist Iyaba Ibo Mandingo and Suzanne Kachmar City Lights executive director have in common is the compulsion to address the “elephant in the living room.” This is base of sincere relationships and collaboration. Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, Bridgeport Art TrailWhile deciding on the theme for this exhibit and related programs over the years, they agreed that for many there may be thoughts and questions that we are hesitant speak of publicly because we do not want to offend or create a risk for ourselves or others as we navigate through this fraught time of political and social polarization and volatility. he holding back on honest questions, feelings and perspectives contrasts with one’s sincere goal to learn, understand, change attitudes and be aware of biases and how they influence behavior. This can create an anxious feeling of insincerity.

City Lights & Company regards relevant content and authentic representation of diverse artists and cultures as top priorities when designing and producing programs. This requires listening to community cultural leaders and making room for others to lead. Iyaba is a talented
visual artist, storyteller and teaching artist. The City Lights/Bridgeport Art Trail team is blessed to work with Iyaba Ibo Mandingo for years to design and implement programs. 

Collaboration: Artist will Corpew installs his art at City Lights Gallery, on the right Carnell by Claude Desir Jr.
Will Corpew City Lights Gallery Bridgeport, Can We Talk, Heavy Chase
Detail of God Bless America by Boll Bored
God Bless America by Bill Bored at City LightsI am Watching by Janine Brown
I Am Watching by Janine BrownMore to come after the opening reception! Last sneak peek…Carlos Biernnay installs his art for Can We Talk.
Carlos Biernnay install at City Lights Gallery, Can We Talk exhibit