Franklin Ugochukwu selected as 2022 Invited Artist

December 19, 2021

Artist Franklin Ugochukwu has been selected as the 2022 North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival‘s Invited Artist. The exhibition seeks out those artists creating relevant social justice work and invites them to display selected work in the exhibition. Invited artists receive an honorarium in support of their work and humanitarian efforts. This is the second year of the Invited Artist program.

Currently based in Minnesota, Ugochukwu was born and raised in Nigeria, West Africa. His colorful and soulful art is inspired by the need to share his voice: A voice that speaks about inclusion, self-love, and diversity. Franklin is passionate about growing and learning, and painting is the means he has currently chosen to pursue that growth.

“It is Well” by Franklin Ugochukwu

Ugochukwu’s 2020 work “It is Well” will be traveling with the North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival throughout North Dakota.

The pandemic was ranging and the black community was dealing with a lot of social justice issues in the United States. This painting embodies the frustration that Ugochukwu and others in the black community were facing at the time: A state of hopelessness, fatigue, and sometimes fear for both the virus and the police. The painting depicts an old lady who has seen it all, an Elder who has lived through many experiences yet is still surviving and standing firm. She’s a sign of resilience.

The 2022 North Dakota Human Rights Film and Arts Festival opens on January 7 at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota. The exhibition will be on display through January 27 during normal museum hours. A special presentation of the experimental and animated films included in the festival will take place on Tuesday, January 11 at 7 p.m. at the Fargo Theatre. The screening is free and open to the public, and seating reservations can be made online. On Thursday, January 13 at 7 p.m., an Artists Reception for the exhibition will take place at the Plains Art Museum. The reception will feature live performances and reflections of work from artists in the festival. Free and open to the public, passes to the reception can be reserved online.

The exhibition will continue throughout 2022, moving to Grand Forks at the UND Arts Collection at the Empire Arts Center in February, the Bismarck Downtown Artist Co-Op in March and April, the Taube Museum of Art in Minot in July and August, the James Memorial Art Center in Williston in September, and the Jamestown Arts Center in November.

The North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival’s mission is to educate, engage, and facilitate discussion around local and worldwide human rights topics. The festival was founded and is managed by The Human Family, a non-partisan 501(c)(3) based in North Dakota founded to change our communities through art.

The North Dakota Human Rights Arts Festival is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts. Exhibition dates in Fargo, North Dakota, are supported in part by a General Operating Support Grant from The Arts Partnership, with support from the cities of Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo.

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