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1978 Maplewood Arts Center
1978 Springfield Avenue
Maplewood, NJ 07040
862-438-8191

Gallery Hours During Exhibitions:
Saturday & Sunday, 2-5pm

Lula Mae Blocton


Persistence of Past and Present

reflected in patterns, colors and light

I choose two very different approaches to defining myself visually; one in a naturalistic way using recognizable symbols and the other abstractly using patterns and colors. All of the self-portraits that depict my physical appearance include my physical surroundings often with material objects symbolizing how I see myself. I purposely make myself look different in each work of art by changing facial expressions, lighting, and illusions of different interior or exterior environments. It is important for me to include visual symbols many self-explanatory and others needing an explanation because of their personal nature.

As an African-American woman artist, I can trace my heritage to slaves on an Alabama plantation. I have included parts of my ancestry in my artwork. Since I have always been an abstract artist, the challenge was to do it in a nonrepresentational manner using the power of light, color and structure.

Building the image through the perception of layering is important. I start with black and white triangles that are common in many African cultures. The authentic African patterns are chosen based on creating a contrast between geometric shapes and curvilinear. They are designed to repeat on both the black and white parts of the paper. Colors chosen for the central area are the colors of the rainbow, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. The transparent illusion of horizontal bands covers the entire painting and unites the layers.

Everything in the paintings has social and political connotations. The inclusion of black and white and the use of rainbow colors cover many symbolic race and human rights issues.


Opening Times

January 28th - March 12th, 2017
Artist Reception : February 5th 2-6pm

Gallery Hours :
Saturdays and Sundays, 2-5pm

Lula Mae Blocton


Saturday, February 11th, 2017

@ 3pm

Visit with Cuban artist Juan Antonio Picasso, Gallery 1978 Artist in residence in 2016.

Juan will discuss his art, its influences and symbolism, & his 2016 residency and visits to the New York Art scene.


Sunday, February 12th, 2017

@ 3pm

A discussion between Gallery 1978 featured artist, Lula Mae Blocton and Cuban artist, Juan Antonio Picasso.

The two artists will discuss the references embedded in their artworks regarding their historical and cultural heritage and will explore common historical influences in the African American and the African Cuban art worlds.