Art and decor is a huge part of Black Southern Belle culture. It represents heritage through your home and shelter and today we are sharing a Henderson County native who is honoring these artisans and traditions. Crystal Cauley is the innovator behind the Black Art and Craft Exhibition in her home state of North Carolina. Learn more about this taste maker and what it took to get this exhibition off the ground.
Henderson County, NC Natives Launches Black Art and Craft Exhibition
According to Cauley, “My passion speaks to me with creativity and entrepreneurship. In 2016, I founded Black Business Network of Western North Carolina and the mission continues to shine light on minority owned businesses and entrepreneurship. I believe in wrapping my head with beautiful African fabric and reaching for knowledge about Black History. Since I was a child, I listened to many oral stories about the county I grew up in and how entrepreneurship was deeply rooted in all Black communities. The rich Black history led me to research as much as I could with every free moment that I can. I discovered a creative way to tell the Black History of the county I live in to be interpreted with art and crafts. “
On her journey to launch this initiative, Cauley states “On March 23, 2019, I had the first Black Art and Craft Exhibition in Hendersonville, NC at a local community center, Emanuel’s Corner in my city. I collaborated with a professional artist, Diamond Cash who helped me achieve the reveal of my ongoing project to tell history with artwork. The exhibition was breathtaking and beautiful with many paintings by Diamond as well as authentic West African carvings, mud cloths from Mali and statues from Ghana. The community was united and on May 2, 2019, the City Mayor Barbara Volk, honored myself and Diamond Cash for the Black Art exhibition. The trail is still blazing and the main branch for my local library also gave me the opportunity to have the artwork and my African carvings displayed for the entire month for May 2019. This will help to instill culture, education and learning of Black History to even a wider audience. This all happened with an idea to celebrate the Black community in a positive uplifting way.”1