Nyeusi, an art gallery, a product of a burning passion to depict his African legacy is the latest creation of Dominica-born, trauma surgeon, Dr. Dale Dangleben.
Nyeusi, which means “Black” in Swahili is the first gallery of its kind located in Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania in the United States of America (USA) with the focus of showcasing the work of black art through African, African-American and Caribbean pieces.
Nyeusi Gallery encompasses all of those things, from places like Ghana, Haiti and the Dominican Republic, as well as work from a Dominican who is also prominently featured in the gallery.
Dr. Dangleben, together with his friend turned-business-partner, Michelle Green, united to launch their shared dream.
Speaking exclusively to Dominica News Online (DNO), Dr Dangleben stated that although he doesn’t consider himself an artist, or a painter, but prefers to call himself “a doodler”, his love for African art came at an early age in Dominica after he was exposed to the work of an artist in his community of Pointe Michel.
“Growing [up] in Dominica, I had a neighbor who was a Garveyite and an artist and I just connected with his African art. Also, there is a Dominican woman who is a friend of mine in Ghana and that’s how I got all these African art,” he revealed. “I think art and paintings, especially like these, bring us back to our roots, so it’s part of our ancestry.”
Dr. Dangleben said his vision came to life when he met Green a few months ago and through conversation, realized they shared a love for various art forms and a desire for people to appreciate and explore art and black history for themselves.
“This is a true passion, not a hobby because, to me, this is rooted in education; it’s rooted in history, and it’s rooted in an understanding of self,” he said. “The name Nyeusi was chosen by Michelle and it is so fitting for what we portray.”
The Penylvania-based surgeon said through Nyeusi Gallery, people of color have a way to showcase their talents as, according to him, “oftentimes, black artists and authors never get a chance to showcase their work, so we want to set an example that others can follow.”
“I say the gallery is a place for upliftment and empowerment and more importantly, it is a place filled with knowledge and wisdom. We want this to be a place for a social gathering where people of all races can come to learn about our history and who we are as a people,” Dr. Dangleben declared.
The work of a Dominican artist, Chase ‘Colors’ Lawrence is also prominently featured in the gallery and Dr. Dangleben says there is room for more local artists. However, he encouraged those who may be interested to ensure that the quality of their work is of international standard.
He also urged local artists to support each other as, “we cannot go at this alone; this has to be a collective effort.”
Dr. Dangleben is hopeful that in the near future, they will be able to expand the gallery to other states across the US to fully portray the dynamic effect of black art.
He says a virtual gallery will soon be launched which will provide another avenue for artists, including Dominicans, to showcase their work and sell to the international market.
Attached to the Nyeusi Gallery is also Nyeusi Media. Through the media centre, Green, who is a podcast producer, photographer, artist and chess master/teacher will produce shows.
The Nyeusi gallery can be contacted via email at [email protected]