FAU Art expo celebrating black culture held for third consecutive year

The FAU chapter of Progressive Black Men hosted the event Friday.


Image courtesy of the FAU chapter of the Progressive Black Men, Inc. Twitter page.

Thomas Chiles, Contributing Writer

Guests waited anxiously in front of Wimberly Library at the Florida Atlantic Boca campus on Friday night. Girls in short dresses huddled for warmth as they waited for the Blazers and the Arts Expo hosted by the FAU Progressive Black Men chapter to begin.

The expo is a celebration of black art, entertainment and culture. The lobby was full of visual art displays, from canvas paintings to customized shoes. The art ranged from African tribal styles to newer, abstract ones.

Although scheduled initially to begin at 7, the doors opened at 8 pm. Outside, a violinist, saxophonist, bongo drummer and a group of rappers harmonized for an upbeat song that energized the cold guests before they officially opened the doors to the art expo inside.

“It’s my first year at the Blazers and the Arts,” said senior Dallas Foy. “”I really enjoy the art, it brings a little bit of Miami to Boca and I like that.”

Throughout the night, artists would perform in various spots in the library. A young Michael Jackson impersonator had the crowd in the lobby cheering wildly below as he moonwalked across the second-story walkway. Later, a group of women marched with tape over their mouths and fists in the air down the staircase.

Rapper Space Cowboy then got the crowd involved with his act.

“I believe we wouldn’t be here without the love of those around us,” the rapper told the crowd, as he got one half to chant a part of his song and the other half to chant another part.

President of the chapter Justin Torres was proud of the scale of this year’s expo.

“We had over 280 people RSVP to the event alone,” Torres said as the night came to a close. “Between the tours and traffic we had much more than that.”

Artist Desmond Jones displayed custom decorated belts and shoes, as well as a canvas painting of Michael Jackson and a drawing of Morgan Freeman. He had his instagram name @_skilz__ on a notecard in front of his art.

“I love the people and all the traffic,” Jones said. “A lot of people are interested, I really feel like I’m hitting my target.”

Last year the Blazers and the Arts Expo was held in the performing arts building, where it was mostly restricted to the narrow hallways.

“It’s much bigger than last year,” Torres said. “We tried to do it better by having a bigger venue.”  

Thomas Chiles is a contributing writer with the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet him @thomas_iv.