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Portsmouth church hosts Black History Month art expo

Event organizers say it’s all about giving people a chance to tell a story and express themselves.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth’s Grove Church is celebrating Black History Month in a creative way with its first-ever black history art expo.

The show has everything from paintings with political commentary on gender and gun violence, to modern art portraits of civil rights leaders and cultural figures.

It’s all work from church members.

“All of it tells a story and most importantly a lot of people didn’t even know that we had this much talent at Grove,” organizer Kanitra Hatton said.

“A lot of hidden talent. And I just wanted to make the church aware and the public aware of what we had here, and this is only the beginning.”

Fifteen-year-old Imani Hayes created a sculpture of a Zebra mask out of cardboard and papier-mâché. 

“This is a piece I did in school for black history month, it’s an African animal mask,” she said. “I like seeing how everybody’s art has a different perspective.”

Her mother Tamera Hayes agreed that it's all about freedom of expression and seeing everyone's creativity is the best part of the expo.

“Just all of the different work, and the community, and the people coming together," she said. "There’s a painting over there that was in honor of Kobe and Gigi, so you just never know people’s different perspectives and inspirations and how it comes alive in art.”

The expo runs all day Sunday.

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