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Octavia Gallery opens solo exhibitions of works by James Henderson and Ayo Scott
Ayo Scott, 9th Ward Gothic (detail), 2014. Digital drawing, 87 x 50 inches.

NEW ORLEANS, LA.- Octavia Art Gallery is presenting two solo exhibitions of new work by local artists James Henderson and Ayo Scott. This is Henderson’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and Scott’s first solo show since completing the Joan Mitchell Center NOLA Studio Program.

Continuing to explore the inner workings of the body and mind, James Henderson’s new series of work focuses on the theme of personal archeology. Inspired by the statement that “the body ages and changes over time but human emotion does not age,” the artist collages vintage imagery, patterns and silhouetted forms with layers of plaster and pigment. The textured surface is then sanded down to reveal specific remnants. Henderson’s process can be seen as mimicking the dichotomy between ones internal self and perceived exterior. Through Henderson’s visual imagery, the artist challenges the viewer to look beyond perceived notions to see what lies beneath.

Ayo Scott’s debut exhibition at the gallery presents his most recent mixed media works alongside his large-scale digital drawings. For Scott, the syncretic tensions present in New Orleans are at the foreground his aesthetic practice. His sensitivity to the traditions, ambitions and contradictions of his hometown allow him to create visual allegories as a means through which to explore ways of being, consumerism and technology’s interaction with the transcendent. Scott’s recent work focuses on leveraging technology to create a symbiosis between the analog and the digital. He achieves this through a reflexive technique that begins with digital collaging and juxtaposition of distinct elements drawn from European masters, African masks and popular iconography. Scott then transfers his collaged compositions onto panels and is able to paint in color and line. Continuing his process, the panel works are then photographed, color is removed, and they become a new impetus for the artist to digitally embellish each layer, generating a discourse between the technological and the traditional.

James Henderson lives and works in New Orleans, LA. He has exhibited his work throughout Louisiana and most recently had a solo exhibition at Northwestern State University, Natchitoches, LA. Henderson’s work can be found in private collections in San Francisco, Boston, Dallas, New Orleans and New York.

The son of nationally renowned artist John T. Scott, Ayo received his Bachelor of Arts from Xavier University. In 2008, Scott had a solo exhibition at the McKenna Museum of African American Art and his work has been included in exhibitions at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Louisiana Art and Science Museum. In 2011, Ayo was honored as the recipient of the Love in the Garden award from the New Orleans Museum of Art.

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