Meet the Artists Thursday at Albany Museum of Art Winter Exhibitions Reception

Staff Report From Albany CEO

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

 Guests will have an opportunity on Thursday, Feb 21, 2019 to meet artists Masud Olufani, Mike Landers and Benjamin Britton at the Albany Museum of Art. The three artists will be at the 5-7 pm Winter Exhibitions Reception.

The event is free and open to the public.

Olufani’s exhibition, Memory and Meaning, opened Thursday, Feb 14, in the AMA’s Haley Gallery. Landers’ exhibition, Stack: Lego Works, also opened Thursday in the East Gallery. Britton’s exhibition, This Unfolding Idyll, continues through Saturday, Feb 23, 2019, in the West Gallery.

“Each of these artists has his own style and each is outstanding in his own right,” AMA Executive Director Paula Williams said. “We are very pleased that all three will be in attendance for the reception.

“Each artist will have a chance to talk about his work. It also is a fantastic opportunity for our guests to have a chance to talk with these talented artists about their work.”

One common aspect of the current exhibitions is they encourage the observer to look closely and to reconsider ideas that may be deeply ingrained.

“Masud Olufani looks at language and history from a different cultural lens, challenging preconceived ideas and looking at events from an African-American perspective,” Williams said. “His sculpture and multimedia works require us to investigate parts of ourselves and our community in ways that can be uncomfortable.

“Mike Landers challenges you with the very medium he uses to create art—Lego blocks. Who hasn’t played with Legos as a child? He has made them into abstract works of art that rival any other medium. Benjamin Britton’s work is beautiful from a distance, yet when you look closer, deeper meaning unfolds as you begin to see identifiable objects and places in it.”

A graduate of Arts High School in Newark, N.J., and  Morehouse College in Atlanta, Olufani has an MFA in sculpture from Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). He has exhibited in Atlanta; New Orleans; Chicago; Richmond, Va.; Lacoste, France, and Hong Kong, China. He is a recipient of a 2018 and 2015 Idea Capital Grant; a Southwest Airlines Art and Social Engagement grant.

He has written for Burnaway, Baha'i Teachings and the Jacob Lawrence Struggle Series catalog. He also is creative director of Blocked: A Global Healing Project, an international multimedia performance memorializing spaces marked by the trauma of the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Olufani’s acting career includes a recurring role on the BET series The Quad, and he has appeared in Greenleaf, Being Mary Jane, Devious Maids, Satisfaction and Nashville on TV, and the film biopic All Eyez on Me: The Tupac Shakur Story. Also, he and Celeste Headlee are hosting Retro Report, an upcoming Public Broadcasting Service investigative journalism program that re-examines high-profile news stories from the past.

Landers is a self-trained photographer and designer who studied at the University of Georgia.  His photographic work includes intimate portraits, formal architectural landscapes, large format pinhole landscapes, and a long-running documentary series of the late-night Athens party crowd.

He began exhibiting his work in 1990, and began creating art with Lego blocks in 2012.

Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Britton has an MFA in painting from UCLA and a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and is represented by the Marcia Wood Gallery. His work has been shown in commercial galleries and alternative spaces in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles, and is included in collections at the High Museum in Atlanta and the West Collection in Oaks, Pennsylvania. He is an assistant professor who teaches drawing and painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia in Athens.

Britton’s work has been included in Art in America, the Los Angeles Times and New American Paintings. A recipient of the Chiaro Award in painting and an artist-in-residence awardee at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, he is a recipient of an artist fellowship from the Ballinglen Arts Foundation in Ballycastle, Ireland, and a J.B. Blunk Residency from the Lucid Art Foundation in Inverness, California.

Williams said she hopes are residents will take advantage of the opportunity to meet the artists.


- Memory and Meaning, works by Masud Olufani, continues through June 15 in the Haley Gallery.

- Stack: Lego Works by Mike Landers continues in the East Gallery through March 30.

- This Unfolding Idyll, works by Benjamin Britton, continues in the West Gallery through Feb 23.