The Artist’s Laboratory Theatre will host a reception for the NWA Black Artist Collective’s art exhibit “Shared Experiences” at 6 p.m. Jan. 12 at 1030 S. College Ave.

“Shared Experiences” highlights the lived experiences of African-Americans in Northwest Arkansas and features local black artists Veronica Huff, Madison Moon, Raven Cook, and exhibit producer Cory Perry. Kentrell Curry will give a presentation of the history of Northwest Arkansas and how it relates to the experiences of contemporary artists in the region, according to a press release.

This event is a continuation of Imagine South Fayetteville, a community gathering that began in November 2018. This festival was produced in partnership with the City of Fayetteville, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Walmart Foundation.

“The thesis of the show is that the life experiences for Black people in the NWA area haven’t really changed much, and we are still experiencing these specific perceptions of reality,” Perry said. “Mental health issues from racism and classism, discrimination, pacification, and oppression against sexual expression still exist after centuries of systematic white oppression and whitewashing. My intention with this exhibition is to show other people, moreso black people who feel alienated in this area, that they’re not alone in these experiences.”

Perry also said he aims to create an environment where people can connect, learn, and feel more empowered to stand up against systematic white oppression.

About NWA Black Artist Collective: The NWA Black Artist Collective is a group that encourages expression through various mediums of art, creating space, and an opportunity for Black art to be showcased to the larger NWA community.

About Artist’s Laboratory Theatre: The Artist’s Laboratory Theatre is a community-based, site-specific theatre company based in Fayetteville. The company stages original, handcrafted performances in surprising places that include its audiences in unique ways. From collaborating with community groups in the writing process to engaging through interactive experiences during a live immersive performance, the collective strives to expand audience’s role in live theatre.