The artwork surrounding Jade Meyers represents more than a group of young artists.
"These are artists who have a fire," she said. "They're up and coming, and they all have a passion for what they do. These are the artists who will be breaking out in the future."
Meyers is the guest curator for the Southern University Visual Art Department's ninth annual Homecoming Art Exhibition, this year titled, "Next Generation of Fiyah!"
The show opens with a free 6 p.m. reception Monday, which also will include refreshments, music and spoken word performances.
The last word in the title is an urban play on the word, "fire," which also is representative of the show. Gallery curator Randell Henry, also an art professor at Southern, wanted the gallery to show more work by community artists.
Some have college degrees, others are self-taught. Only one is a student at Southern.
"I said that the gallery should be a place where we show art by artists in the community or communities," Henry said. "Or as I said, 'art from the 'hood.' Well, this is being done through former student Jade."
Meyers was mentored by gallery director Robert Cox, also her former teacher at the university.
"She used to come in and help me with shows when she was a student," Cox said. "I thought this was a good time for her to curate a show. She's done a great job."
Meyers earned her bachelor's degree in art in 2013 and now works as an English instructor for the Southern's College Connect Program. She now can officially add "curator" to her list of credentials.
Meyers has pulled together work by a group of artists from throughout the state.
"This was a lofty task," Meyers said. "I knew some of the artists from different shows in Louisiana. I chose them based on their versatility and the personal imprint they are making. This is a show that will relate to everyone who comes to see it, and the artwork stands out among the artwork they normally see."
Cox added that the show addresses issues and concerns important not only to the young artists but also to their audiences.
"This gallery is also educational for our students, and it addresses another issue that comes up — so many of our students come into class thinking all artists are either old or dead," Cox said. "Well, this is a show filled with work by young artists who are alive."
"Fiyah!" features 28 pieces, including paintings and photography.
Exhibiting artists are New Orleans native Bryan Brown, who works in acrylics, charcoal and pastel; self-taught and tattoo artist Kristen Downing, of New Orleans; photographer Taylor S. Hunter, of Marksville; New Orleans native and Xavier University graduate Kara Mariee; New Orleans-based photographer Amira Maxwell; self-taught artist TySolo, of Roseland; andphotographer, cinematographer and Southern nursing student Adam Vo.
"These are the next generation of artists," Meyers said. "Their work is about the fire — it's about light and fearlessness. Each piece had a certain message and aesthetic that will appeal to the audience."
The Next Generation of Fiyah!
The Southern University Visual Art Gallery's ninth annual Homecoming Art Exhibition.
WHERE: Southern University Visual Art Gallery, Frank Hayden Hall, on Southern's campus.
WHEN: Through Nov. 9. The reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Oct. 2. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
INFORMATION: Call (225) 771-4103 or email email@example.com.