Fahamu Pecou, Weeksville Heritage Center Earn Acclaim in Brooklyn Exhibition

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Fahamu Pecou, Weeksville Heritage Center Earn Acclaim in Brooklyn Exhibition

Fahamu Pecou’s exhibition, “Memory,” is benefitting its venue every bit as much as the artist.

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Pecou—born in Brooklyn, raised in South Carolina, and based in Atlanta—expresses sentiment surrounding Brooklyn’s Weeksville Heritage Center, where his show is on display.

“Weeksville is not just a local treasure, it’s a national treasure, rich with literal traces of courageous black leaders, business people and visionaries,” he told Artnet. “You can walk into homes built by freed and newly freed black people who were working to assert black humanity in the American narrative. That space still exists and is relevant to our national conversation today.”

Earlier in 2019, Weeksville Heritage Center faced closure amid financial struggles. The New York Times drew a sobering parallel between the situation then unfolding with the site and the history of Weeksville, the historic neighborhood that is now part of Crown Heights:

“The remains of the village of free African-Americans who had carved out a settlement after New York abolished slavery were crumbling in the 1960s. Preservationists crusaded, and the refuge nestled in the heart of Brooklyn was saved.

Nearly six decades later, the future of the Weeksville Heritage Center is again in question as a budget shortfall threatens to force it to close. Without an injection of funds by the end of [June 2019], officials said, its efforts to educate visitors and preserve the haven that was home to hundreds of African-Americans before the Civil War are in jeopardy.”

The Heritage Center was able to crowdsource funding exceeding the $200,000 it needed in order to remain open. Pecou’s imagery embracing black masculinity and identity thus feels even more powerful as part of a Weeksville comeback.

“It’s not often that an artist’s work resonates so widely and deeply,” Artnet wrote. “The show at Weeksville adds another dimension and further demonstrates how far his themes can travel.”

Duggal Visual Solutions’ Lyndall Kazmarzyk had the honor of working with curator Natalya Mills-Mayrena, Executive Director Rob Fields and Deputy Director Anita Warren to provide framed canvas prints, text graphics and labels for the exhibition, which runs until December 12. Read the full review on Artnet and learn more about Weeksville’s place in the past, present and future of the African American community. 

For those living in or visiting New York City, Weeksville Weekends offer free community days with art workshops, tours of the historic Hunterfly Road Houses, self-care sessions, and live performances.

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