New Image Art is pleased to present Heaven, a two-person exhibition by Ohio’s very own Kwamé Gomez and Alexandria Couch. In both aesthetics and materials, both artists leap into the varying vibrant realms of existence, swaying between the past, present and the unknown. Both artists explore their blackness through differing paper mediums; for Gomez it is the varying layers of intricately cut paper, enmeshed with glimmering trinkets and textural jewels, while for Couch, paper acts as the foundation for her intimate drawings and print work. They conjure a tactile methodology of exploration of inner truth and peace through craft and portraiture. As studio mates and friends, the pairing of Gomez and Couch was no coincidence; as skilled printmakers and draftsmen, they challenge and honor the many ways of working with paper. In Gomez’s dreamlike cut-out paper worlds, they unleash a phantasmal tone of mysticism and power, similarly, Couch creates figures embedded in an elusive state of connectivity. Heaven is intended to provide grounding and a sense of freedom amidst the current unraveling of the ever-changing world. 

Kwamé Gomez is a Mixed media artist based in Akron Ohio. Their body of work centers on the creation of Ancestral realms, figures, and mythical universes in futuristic settings where Black people are free to exist and rest in their own autonomy. In their work, they explore painting, drawing, sculpture, and collage. Kwamé is a recent graduate of the Myers School of Art with a Bachelors in Fine Art in Painting and Drawing. ⁣

In their professional and undergraduate career, Kwamé is a notable recipient of the National Scholastic Art and Writing American Visions Award, the Cleveland Institute of Art National 2D 3D Juror Special Merit Award, and the Gillette Academic Senior Scholarship issued through the Myers School of Art. As of 2021, Kwamé is a recently admitted graduate student in the Masters of Fine Arts Painting and Drawing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alexandria Couch is a visual artist who recently graduated from the Myers School of Art with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts for Printmaking and Painting. Her work utilizes both traditional and found materials to emphasize the unearthing of identity through exploration. As a black woman, her work is heavily driven by the sudden shift of black experiences from margin to center and the nuances presented in an ongoing battle of self-discovery; attempting to piece together identities in hyper-visible environments. The work is both figurative and narrative in quality and aims to facilitate states of dissonance between figures and their surroundings that provoke the apprehension of personal wayfinding. It also investigated the power to hold viewers accountable in their consumption of the work.