Keep Contemporary presents
How Did We Get Here
Featuring The Exciting work of
Abi Salami and Jammie Holmes
January 24th 5-8 pm
Dj Eldon on the decks !
Refreshments/ Community / Culture
“How Did We Get Here,” a dual exhibition featuring the work of Dallas-based artists Abi Salami and Jammie Holmes. Prolific and self-taught painters, Salami and Holmes paint cultural, biographical works that are unapologetically honest, tackling sensitive issues relating to mental health, religion, politics and more. Both artists use their own experiences to inform their subject matter, which is often deeply personal yet resonates with a broad audience.
As a result, their paintings become a platform for social change and awareness around these issues, which affect individuals of all backgrounds regardless of race, wealth or gender. Both artists will be in attendance for the exhibition opening at KEEP Contemporary on Friday, January 24th from 5-8pm.
For “How Did We Get Here,” Abi Salami’s vibrant, colorful works aim to draw attention to mental health issues, particularly within the African community.
Salami grew up in a Nigerian household while suffering from depression, but cultural norms prevented her from voicing these struggles and caused her to suffer silently for years. Now as an artist, she is dedicated to using her work as a platform to address these issues and empower others of similar experience. “I’ve found that it’s easier to paint your truth and be authentic so we can talk about these issues confidently and freely,” says Salami. “Everything I paint is painfully personal, but when I do that I’m able to connect with people on a very real level.”
Salami worked in public accounting and real estate for almost a decade before deciding to follow her passion for art as a full-time career. Her transition from the corporate world to the art world ultimately led her to success but not without angst, exacerbating her existing battles with mental health. Salami represents all this and more in her exhibition paintings. Salami’s work has been showcased at the African American Museum of Dallas, The Women’s Museum of Dallas, George A. Purefoy Municipal Center, Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the Texas Visual Arts Association.
Jammie Holmes’ exhibition paintings focus on topics relating to political injustice, underrepresented voices and impoverished people. Born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, a small city north of New Orleans, Holmes reflects on his own upbringing with raw, expressive, and emotional work, while also using his paintings as a vehicle for social agenda. “When I create art, it is as
though I have been commissioned by the children and adults that grew up like me; not only from my city, but form across the world,” he says in his artist statement. “I am merely an instrument giving voice to those who are voiceless and vulnerable, those who can’t speak out against the injustices happening to them, those who have no choice or say in the matter: from the kids in the ghettos of Louisiana to the child soldiers in Africa.
I paint in a stream of continuous flow, which is influenced by raw emotions, making sure to never get too attached to previous layers. Instead, I let them guide me as I continue to add images, symbols and words in the quest to convey the message burning inside my head.” Holmes and his artwork have appeared in D Magazine, Paper City Magazine, and PATRON Magazine. His paintings have been showcased at : Gallery, Stella Jones Gallery, CHURCH Boutique and Band of Vices, and will be on display at Art Basel Miami this year.
KEEP Contemporary is one of Santa Fe’s newest and most unconventional art spaces bringing fresh energy to the local art scene. Director Jared Antonio-Justo Trujillo is an artist and Santa Fe native who saw a niche that needed to be filled, inspiring him to create a platform for “new contemporary art.” “I opened the gallery with the whole idea of giving voice to artists who don’t have one in a conservative art market,” says Trujillo, who now represents over 40 artists working in a wide range of mediums.