VISIONS: From Senegal to Harlem

Weston United’s Gallery M opens new show of work by artists Willie Torbert and Mahamadou Savane

New York, NY (PRWEB) December 9, 2010

Gallery M, a contemporary arts gallery based in Harlem, announces the opening of a new exhibit by American artist Wilie Torbert and Mahamadou Savane, who was born in Senegal. The gallery, located on West 125th Street, not only shows the work of established and emerging artists, but it is also a space where the work of Weston’s consumers can be exhibited–a vital part of the recovery program for the non-profit’s residents. Weston United is this year celebrating 25 years of serving the most vulnerable in our community – those who are homeless and suffer from mental illness. The history of the organization is rooted in the community, especially members of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, one of the great traditional houses of worship in the neighborhood.

The new show at Gallery M opens on Saturday, December 11th and the exhibit will continue until February 15th, 2011. The show was curated by Maketa Dorothy White and is presented in cooperation with D’Zora House Salon.

Willie Torbert is an African-American contemporary artist best known for his figurative intensely colorful painting. His work is included in the private collections of a number of well-known celebrities including Russell Simmons, Spike Lee, Natalie Cole, Patti Labelle and others. Torbert studied at New York’s Pratt Institute, City University and Medgar Evers College, and his work has been exhibited at The Town House Gallery in Washington, DC and a number of New York galleries, including the Eric Robertson African Art Gallery and Broome Street Gallery.

Torbert has also shown his work at the Apollo Theater and in corporate exhibitions at Chemical (now Chase) Bank, Colgate-Palmolive and Pepsi-Cola in New York City, and has received numerous commissions.

Mahamadou Savane is an artist and programmer who moved to the United States from Senegal, where he was born. His work is best characterized by an intensely colored, graphic, yet abstract style. Savane has been painting for a number of years and has studied in Minnesota. He is inspired by his African heritage and his American experience, as well as the journey that has brought him here.

“We are delighted to have an opportunity to show the work of these two talented artists,” said Jean Newburg, CEO of Weston United. “Gallery M is enormously important to our community and the mission of our organization.” she added.

Gallery M is located at 123 West 135th Street between 7th Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem. Gallery M was founded in 1986 as part of Weston United’s outreach program and is a contemporary fine arts gallery that shows art by emerging, established, and outsider artists. The gallery focuses on presenting work by African American, Latino, and mentally ill artists. Residents of Weston United are employed as gallery assistants and learn vocational skills and gain valuable work experience. Previous exhibitions have included works by AA Bronson, John Bankston, Larry Clark, Ellen Gallagher, David Hammons, Adrian Piper, Kara Walker and Andy Warhol, to mention a few. The Gallery also conducts free talks with the general public and school groups. Mahamoud Savane will give a talk at Gallery M on Wednesday December 15th, from 3-4pm and Willie Torbert will speak on Saturday, December 18th from 3-4pm.

This exhibit opens on Saturday, December 11th, 2010 from 5-8pm and will be on show until February 15th, 2011. Please call Sandra Wheeler, Gallery M manager, at (347) 297 5402 or email her at swheeler(at)westonunited(dot)org to confirm daily opening hours.

For press inquires, please contact Susan Towers at Nice Partners at (212) 929 6423 ext. 12 or email susan(at)nicepartnership(dot)com.

Weston United provides supportive housing and services to New Yorkers who are homeless and suffer from mental illness. The non-profit organization offers both transitional shelter and long-term apartment housing in a number of New York locations. In addition, Weston United aims to change the lives of people by providing vital services and outreach programs to the most vulnerable in our community. Weston United is headquartered in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood, and is celebrating 25 years of rebuilding lives and strengthening communities. Gallery M is a vital part of Weston United’s recovery program and provides people with valuable work experience and involvement with the arts. For more information or to donate, please visit