"People from Pittsburgh love to talk about how they are from Pittsburgh," says any non-native who has interacted with the prideful bunch. Calling Pittsburgh home is acknowledging the city's importance; Pittsburghers point to steel production, Heinz Ketchup, popular figures, sport culture, its key position as Gateway to the West, and neighborhoods. This pride carries local artists Amani Davis and Hannibal Hopson in their sustainable art exhibition titled Kamili.
Both Amani and Hannibal hail from Pittsburgh's Highland Park-Point Breeze-Squirrel Hill region and have seen the area go through changes over a sixteen-year period of growing up there. The pair notes how gentrification results in new housing developments, new businesses, and new families who are unaware or forget the history and culture already instilled in the neighborhood. Kamili counteracts the process as Amani and Hannibal's exhibition celebrates past memories and attachment to their community. Using wood as their medium, the artists paint and draw on pieces people threw out on the street and scrap from demolition projects, repurposing their forgotten world. Amani voiced, "This is about my street," evoking a sense of empathy with his neighbors who have come and gone. Change is what inspires Kamili--Swahili for concrete, complete, or perfect. With city life change of landscape and people is constant, to which Amani appropriately states, "When neighborhoods flip people forget shit." Kamili pays homage to remembrance, while acknowledging nothing ever stays the same.
On June 11, 2015 InTheRough met with Amani Davis and Hannibal Hopson at their studio to talk about their upcoming exhibition. The conversation, and accompanying visuals, dealing with art, Pittsburgh society, hip hop, and their movement will be available here July 3. See Kamili for yourself July 2-3, 2015 at PointBreezeway, 6 to 9pm EST.
7113 Reynolds St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208