Former aviation employee opens art gallery to empower artists of color

Local

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – A former aviation employee celebrated the grand opening of his art gallery for artists of color here in Wichita over the weekend. 

After being furloughed from Spirit Aerosystems in May, Anthony Joiner turned his loss into an opportunity for others. He found he had more time to pursue his passion–focusing on opening Mulberry, a non-profit art gallery for diverse artistry. He says he hopes this space will give creatives a place to show their talent when they are few and far between. 

“A lot of time people don’t understand artists of color because their artwork looks different from most because their trauma and past life experiences look different than most,” Joiner said. 

Joiner said opening the gallery’s been three years in the making but is excited to see his vision come to life and give creatives an outlet. 

“I’m excited about the impact that this is going to make in the community,” Joiner said. “This is going to be an exhibition for artists who really don’t get an opportunity in the art scene.” 

Joiner chose to name the gallery’s first collection “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” to allow the artists to express themselves without restraint.   

“We’re letting them know they can pretty much take the muzzle off and say exactly what it is that is on their hearts,” Joiner said. 

While the gallery opened during Black History Month, Joiner says that wasn’t planned but there is still a message there. 

“Once this month is over, people are going to notice that this is still going on,” Joiner said. “I really want to open up that conversation that Black History Month does not stop in February.” 

Mulberry is temporarily operating out of the Lux on First and Market until they move into their permanent location at Revolutsia at Central and Grove. The gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The “Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself” collection will be available until March 19. 

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