The Thea Foundation will feature work by local artist Joëlle Storet in a new exhibit called “Awakening” as part of the Art Department, a quarterly exhibition series.
For the longest time, the Belgian-born Congolese artist created inspired pieces that became popular in the town that nurtured her creativity the most, Fayetteville, as well as around the world. Now she is channeling vulnerability and exposing parts of herself she used to feel a little shy showing off. Her art as well as her upbringing can be described virtually in the same fashion: it is a deep Afro-Teutonic Synthesis, according to a press release.
“This particular body of work was heavily inspired by my bi-cultural upbringing. I was born and raised in Europe until I was 12 and am fluent in several languages since age 7,” Storet said. “Despite being half-African from my mother’s side, I spent very little time in Zaire. The culturally-ingrained experiences I had amassed over time were constructed by my mother’s presence through language, comic books and film. Belgium, being one of the former colonial powers, has one of the largest collections of authentic Central African art in the world at the Royal Museum of Tervuren. I was never able to see in such detail again either in Europe or America.”
When she isn’t displaying her own artwork, Storet can be found putting other art in the spotlight as the gallery manager of Art Ventures NWA (formerly known as the Fayetteville Underground). As the emerging artist she is, Storet has exhibited several works around Northwest Arkansas, Vienna and Berlin. She is a graduate of the University of Arkansas with a background in cultural anthropology, semiotics and linguistics.
Storet’s exhibition will be on display at Thea Foundation from February 1 to March 2. Thea Foundation is located at 401 Main Street in North Little Rock. Gallery hours are 9 a.m.-noon and 1 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, visit theasartdepartment.com, call 501-379-9512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.