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Early in the pandemic, when the World was locked in our homes, Martell Hasley, artist and founder of Uni. Verse Studio, felt deeply compelled to connect. And he turned his own backyard into an international exhibition, The Parallel Transition, which became more than an art show. It was a vehicle that cultivated conversation, trust, and beauty in one of our darkest moments.
A multi-disciplinary artist, Martell seems to be able to take a birds eye view of an issue at hand to pose two questions, "Are you feeling this way too? Can we talk about it?"
Then he makes space for a wide range of expressions by imagining the shapes and colors that will bring that dialogue to life and invite people through it.
For example, The Parallel Transition was his first outdoor exhibition created in the first few months of the pandemic, and amidst heartbreaking violence and protests, to see if anyone out there was feeling like him- isolated and confused.
Martell describes the process of creating this exhibition like this...
"My business partner, Demetrius Philp, and I wanted to document parallel battles that were raging at the time- the Pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement. We'd already been making our own observations through poetry and photography. We made the decision to create a safe space for artists like us to come together and express through their own respective mediums.
For this project, I took to Instagram. I wasn't sure how my idea would be received, and I was a bit nervous about telling artists that the exhibit would be in my backyard.
I quickly learned that thousands of artists were experiencing this intense time just as I was. I connected with a host of brilliant premier black artists from around the world and got to work using simple structures, directional colors, and the subdued textures of the yard itself to allow their art to speak."
In terms of colors, they kept a very simple pallet of gray, black and white with bright yellow and green cards to direct viewers through the experience.
The culmination of all these things was exactly what they imagined: an experience that allowed artists to express great human adversities while bringing people together to find common ground and compassion in all of it.
I asked Martell about the outcome of the exhibition...
He says, "Since this first show, we have devoted our energy and momentum toward building our own creative agency called Uni. Verse Studio.
Beyond this exhibit, we continue to hold on to what inspired us a year ago, which is continually connecting with black artists around the world, and being able to create a safe space for these artists to connect with commercial clients around the world as we paint the world anew."
Check out Uni.Verse Studio to learn more about these exhibitions and the wide range of branding, experience, and art services they provide to cultivates black artistry in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.
When you put color to an idea, you bring a certain life to it that doesn't exist without it. What kind of conversations and expression can you create with these colors inspired by The Parallel Transition exhibition?
Thank you, Martell, for your big bold heart and vision. Thank you for talking with me. And thank you for putting more color and love in the world. Keep going. We need people like you.
Shop Colors Inspired by The Parallel Transition