Limited 10 Visitors for 45 minute appointments on opening night.
PLEASE NOTE – We require a face mask for entry into the gallery.
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sunday 10am-6pm
Human Currency is a collection of works that confronts institutional racism in the representation of the cowrie seashell. Each piece addresses a contemporary issue that signifies deep rooted historical practices of slavery, racism, fertility, womanhood, birth, and wealth. The cowrie shell is the symbol of life; Jasmine Abena Colgan uses the shell to share her belief that through womanhood, we will develop the change in the world that is needed today. A simplistic form portrays a beautiful depiction as a metaphor, which is vocalized through the African perspective in artistic material.
“The exploration of my culture has influenced my identity to be expressed from life conflicts, as a multi-cultured woman with American nationality, appearance of Black American, but heritage of Irish and Ghanaian. There has always been the constant battle of deciphering where I fit in as a mixed individual. This body of work is shared not only from the lens, but the intellect of a African-American, Fante-Ghanaian, Irish-American, and Black & White woman.
My artwork has developed through the use of natural and found materials; they reference pigmentation, slavery, labor, tribal and bi-nationality. I mold metaphorical structures that represent the similarities between history and culture brought into contemporary conversation. I have developed my understanding of what it means to be a woman of colors. By painting a mask of makeup, I am embracing my skin condition and expressing the persona of a halfrican.”
– Jasmine Abena Colgan
10% of proceeds from your purchase will be donated to a non-governmental organization in Ghana through Tough Skin. A virtual card will be sent, and your name will be added and shared with the international community.
Jasmine Abena Colgan is an Ameri-Ghanaian artist, educator, scholar, entrepreneur and social activist who was born in Colorado. Colgan will complete her masters in Fine Arts from the University of Colorado Boulder in Spring of 2020. Jazz is a master printer with 19th century, historical photographic printing processes including; platinum & palladium, silver and gold.
In 2019, Colgan was a NEST fellow and collaborated with a Ph.D. Candidate in chemistry to successfully develop the Ghanatype; a gold printing method using raw material from Obuasi (Obuasi mine initiated the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade). Her artwork is inspired from the contemporary diaspora of mixed culture in the social world; a woman who is black and white, Irish and Ghanaian, African-American, but declares herself a part of the vitilgan race and a woman of colors.
In 2017, Jazz was awarded the “Face of Vitiligo” at a world conference, highlighting her successful social empowerment while conducting field research for her non-profit organization, Tough Skin. She has been featured in publications such as PEOPLE magazine, was associated with TEDXMileHigh for Wonder: Women in Art Experience. Colgan has developed international relationships with several diverse communities and recently established Tough Skin into an enterprise that sources Shea Butter from Ghana to handcraft protective, organic skincare products.
Denver-based photographer, Narkita Gold has been honing her skills in digital photography since 2009. She’s passionate about arts and culture and finds inspiration in the human experience, city life, and architecture. She’s currently profiling the city’s movers, shakers, and every day folks about the Black experience in the Mile High City in her portrait and interview series, Black in Denver. Learn more at www.blackindenver.com.
Artist Statement about Collaboration with Leon:
The Black experience in Denver is unique, complex, and often overlooked. I’ve always believed representation matters, and seeing ourselves on the walls of museums and galleries is impactful, especially to our little ones. I am excited to bring my series to Leon Gallery to continue to celebrate diversity in blackness, shed light on our connectedness, and raise awareness about the power of being oneself.
Originally, these portraits graced our front window, during the pandemic shutdown of the gallery, with plans to create a semi-permanent display on our flags, to bring the many truths of Denver’s Black community through Narkita’s project. We encourage you to learn more and hear the stories of our community members showcased here by visiting @blackindenver on Instagram. You can also follow Narkita @narkitagold⠀
“Blackness is a Spectrum. We are all connected. We are here”. – Narkita Gold