Our Art, Our Culture: A Celebration of Art in African American Culture

Sunday, April 24 at 2:30 PM

Our Art, Our Culture is a free film documentary screening and panel discussion event that investigates the stories of local black artists. Exploring these intergenerational histories, Fairleigh Dickinson University Loeb Fellow, Ronni Garrett, documents the unique perspectives of each artist as well as capturing the similarities of their experiences.

The artists featured in the documentary are Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol, Philip Smallwood, Raquel Sukanya, and Tyler Best. All four artists will participate in the panel discussion which will be moderated by Art in the Atrium’s Executive Director, Lauren LeBeaux Craig. Art in the Atrium, Inc. is a nonprofit, volunteer arts organization that has proudly exhibited African-American fine art in many venues throughout northern New Jersey since its founding in 1992.


Bickford Theatre COVID Policy

All patrons 12 years and older must provide proof of full vaccination, currently 2 shots of either Pfizer or Moderna, or one of Johnson and Johnson, and corresponding ID. All patrons are required to wear a face mask for the entire time they are inside the Bickford Theatre.

About the Panelists

Rosalind Nzinga Vaughn-Nichol

She was born in Indiana into a multi-generational family of artisans and craftsmen. She studied drawing and painting at Herron School of Art and Design, Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana; received a BFA from California State University, Long Beach; and a MA from Oral Roberts University, Tulsa, Oklahoma. She currently resides in northeastern USA.

Philip Smallwood

Influenced by his older brother, Fredrick Smallwood, the artist developed a keen interest in visual art that developed into a second career.  This artistic journey  has taken him and his works across the country and abroad. Mr. Smallwood is the consummate  observer, who uses his talents to give a resonance and reason  to subjects and places that would normally be ignored. These images are rendered with a dignity and grace that is usually  reserved for the  upper echelons of society. In the hands of a skilled practitioner, watercolor can take on the dynamics of the most detailed and complex  oil paintings. It is this very approach that has garnered P. Smallwood with numerous accolades and awards from the the most distinguished art societies  and organizations nationally and internationally.  The hopes, desires, and dilemma  of humanity are chronicled and cast by artists past and present.

Lauren LeBeaux Craig (Panel Moderator)

Lauren LeBeaux Craig is a certified yoga teacher, energy healer, author, serial entrepreneur, marketing professional, content creator, and the official Glambassador for the City of Newark, New Jersey. A cum laude graduate of Spelman College, Lauren received her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law-Newark, where she was the Notes Editor for Rutgers Law Review. After practicing law for ten years, Lauren pivoted to a creative career. Lauren is the producer of arts and cultural festivals and a curator of art exhibits and initiatives independently and in her dual roles as Director of Marketing and Artistic Initiatives for Newark Arts and Executive Director of Art in the Atrium.Lauren is the founder of Brown Girls Bar Crawl, a popular social club for professional women of color and the author of “100 Things Newark,” a tourism guide to the City of Newark which was featured in the New York Times, AP Travel and The National Magazine.

Ronni Garrett

Ronni Garrett is a sophomore at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she majors in film with a double concentration in directing and post-production. She was the recipient of the Marianne S. Loeb Fellowship which partnered with the Morris Museum to increase community engagement with the African American community. Outside of school, Ronni is an author, screenwriter, and filmmaker who desires to change the world and increase diversity through her films and stories.

Raquel Sukanya

Raquel Sukanya is an interdisciplinary artist based in Hillside, New Jersey. Growing up, she developed a fondness for the arts by visiting numerous museums throughout her lifetime. This passion is what led her to study different artistic mediums and graduate from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2021. As an emerging artist, Raquel has developed her skills in painting, drawing, and performance art to present her understanding of her own growth as an individual and her surrounding environment.


Apr 24 2022