Plano ArtCenter’s Black History Month Tribute

Reo Lee

In honor of Black History month, the Plano ArtCenter had featured local artists Jas Mardis and Evita Tezeno to do an exhibition that will last from Feb. 6 all the way till Mar. 27. The exhibition, titled “Sharing Memories,” showcases a variety of different pieces from both artists.

Jas Mardis is an artist known for utilizing fabrics and leather to produce multimedia pieces which focus on the fantastic African-American image and experience of his family story.

“I’m a Cultural Artist working across multiple disciplines: visual art, fabric, leather pyrography-drawing, sculpture with metals, wood and original text-narratives,” Mardis said. “All of those elements come into play in my ‘style’ as I create.”

Not only does Mardis create unique physical art pieces, he is also an avid writer of poetry and other various commentary.

“I’m a 2014 Inductee to The Texas Literary Hall of Fame and a Pushcart Prize Awardee,” Mardis said. “Primarily for poetry and social commentary.”

He strives to incorporate his artistic creativity and talent for writing into his artworks, which then results in physical pieces that not only is visually aesthetic but also tells the audience a story.

“I am a Storyteller and each piece is a narrative, using visual and historical elements to bring the viewer into the ‘voice’ of the piece,” Mardis said. “Like with ‘Ol’ Catfish’, I created fabric that looks like fish in waves to surround the leather pyrography drawing of the old man telling you of the fish that got away.”

When asked about the usual medium he typically uses and why, Mardis shares that each artwork he creates has a different set of materials depending on the subject and story.

“I have a series, Just A Crown: Imagining 40 of the Crowns worn by Black Women during their Lifetime, each of those pieces/Crowns are in full color Fine Art Prints; Leather Pyrography, Wood Pyrography and Fabric Art Quilting,” Mardis said. “Each medium presents different elements and responses to the viewer.”

With the recent exhibition going live at the Plano ArtCenter, Mardis is honored and excited to share his thought provoking artworks with the rest of the community.

“This opportunity is an exciting one and gives me access to the vibrant Plano Arts Community that has an open, curious and cultural heart,” Mardis said. “The ArtCentre staff and principals are exceptional and keen-eyed.”