Walking into 1st Cup Café in Minneapolis’ Southside, you are not welcomed by the usual smiles of waiters and waitresses, but rather by eye-catching masks and abstract paintings being displayed on the walls and made-do table in the coffee eatery-depicting the sui generis of African culture.
As you look around in astonishment and wonder, trying to grasp the interpretation of the art; one of the conservators of the display walks up to you to explain the inspiration and significance of the art. Listening to the conservator and the chattering of other art lovers who have come to view the display, you begin to get an insight on the brilliance of the displayed art.
Arts to Africans has always been used as a measure to showcase their values and customs, as well as a form of entertainment that unites the community by bringing a mix of interpretations into a solitary form of artistry that reverberates oneness.
Koffi and Anziz, the artists whose works are being showcased tell me their art is intended to waken the inner-self of an individual-to let them appreciate art through in-depth thinking and appraisal. To these two, who have used art as a channel to convey their messages for decades, art is not only an adventure, but also a measure of self-exploration which helps them express innermost thoughts and feelings.
Koffi and Anziz’s art portray a mix of medieval African culture and bountiful panorama of styles that captures with intense curiosity the interest of those who come to see their work.
Abebech Mimi Girma, who coordinated the display, says the intent of the show is to highlight and show another side of African tradition and culture, through art which is often hidden from the general public.
The display will run through June 30th at 1st Cup Café.
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