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KPF Celebrates Black History Month 2024

To honor Black History Month, KPF Public organized an art show and reception highlighting work from local artists.

The show’s opening was celebrated with an event attended by KPF employees, featured artists, and leadership from local organizations including the AIA New York and nycoba|NOMA. Guests enjoyed live music performed by Brianna Knight and food catered from Melba’s, a local restaurant serving American Comfort cuisine.

Brianna Knight is a singer, songwriter, and poet. She takes inspiration from Jill Scott, Lauryn Hill, and Jazmine Sullivan, and her work is founded in inspiring other black women to find strength in love and vulnerability. Growing her fanbase with 44,000 monthly listeners, she hopes to one day bring neo-soul back to center stage in the music industry. She’s been featured twice at the Apollo for their Teen Summit, and outlets including EARMILK and VIBE Magazine. She has written multiple jingles for Chime and recently performed at the Women Songwriters Hall of Fame. Listen to her music here.

The art show featured four pieces of cotton quilted textile artwork by William Daniels. William, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, is an independent curator and visual artist who currently lives, works, and creates art in the Washington D.C. metro area. He works primarily with textiles, utilizing traditional quilt blocking and paper piecing techniques. His work is inspired by urban art practices that confront contemporary issues. William is currently a PhD candidate pursuing an interdisciplinary degree in Art Theory, Philosophy, and Aesthetics at the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. Learn more about William’s work here.

Gabrielle Baker showcased a series of metallic paintings. She began her career as an artist at age 10, taking watercolor classes at the Art Students League in Manhattan. Following advice from family, she opted to explore science in college, with the intention of going to medical school. After 30 years of not picking up a paintbrush, she returned to her passion. Her journey from still life watercolors to painting acrylic abstracts of metals, quartz crystals, and other minerals is filled with many serendipitous events, leading her to where she feels she should have been all along, with metals as the inspiration for her art. Learn more about Gabrielle’s work here.

Also on display was a multimedia collage by Élan Cadiz, titled Home Series, which explores connotations of home and its effect in individualization. She is a multi-ethnic, multi-racial, native New Yorker, and a visual artist whose work deconstructs and balances her intersectionality through her projects. Élan’s art and practice are grounded in the documentation of her personal narrative using portraiture, and domestic and historical imagery. She has been commissioned by the Studio Museum in Harlem, El Museo del Barrio, Art in Flux Harlem, Mount Vernon Hotel Museum, Weeksville Heritage Center, and more. Learn more about Élan’s work here.

Artist Edwin G. Cadiz contributed five collage pieces to the show. Edwin is a multi-media visual artist born and raised in New York whose artwork reflects a variety of cultural strains of influence derived from his Puerto Rican heritage, the New York experience, and his travels to various countries. Throughout his career, he has explored many directions including photo ceramics, murals, and wood sculpture. He has taught studio art for over 22 years at various local institutions and community centers, including Queens College. Learn more about Edwin’s work here.

William and Edwin attended the opening reception to share a few words about their work. While unable to be in attendance, Gabrielle and Élan recorded interviews that were shown to the audience.

The event was organized by the BHM Planning Group, led by Architectural Designer Barbara​​​​ Hammond, and KPF Public, a community group dedicated to addressing issues of racial and social inequality and combatting the inequities that exist within the profession and the built environment. Learn more about the group here.