Local Showcase Brings Awareness to Black Art in Dignowity » CO LAB Magazine

Local DJ and artist Jevonchi is doing something very special this Saturday, and from all that is evidenced in his endeavors leading up to it, something that is very dear to his heart.

Everything about InTune suggests it holds the intimacy of community bonds as its core value, and the love that Jevonchi is putting into it is hard to question. It will be the first event of its kind that that he has curated and organized on his own, which will be held at the Movement Gallery on East Commerce. He hopes not only to serve up a platform for the local artists alongside him, but to provide a showcase that brings special attention to the state of the black artist for Black History Month.

“We feel Jevon has worked hard to be inclusive but celebrate black culture and art.”

Jevonchi chose the Movement Gallery, part of the Southwest Worker’s Union, for its cultural relevance, he says, and because of its mission. The venue’s mission statement reads, “we unite in one collective struggle for self-governance based on dignity, respect, justice, and liberation,” which connects to the InTune event’s objective of bringing attention to society’s perception of the black artist.

“We are excited to host InTune specifically for Black History month,” Movement Gallery coordinator Kimberly Rendon says. “We feel Jevon has worked hard to be inclusive but celebrate black culture and art.”

“Part of my goal is to expand the view of the way black people can be perceived within the city and society as a whole,” Jevonchi said in a statement to CO LAB Magazine.

In addition to the venue, the locality has additional significance for its position as San Antonio’s political and socioeconomic elephant-in-the-room — the economic annexation of the historically vulnerable East Side.

“The Dignowity district is becoming one of the most gentrified neighborhoods in the city, and in order to maintain and preserve the area, we must support the local businesses in that area and fuel the local economy.”

Rendon has many of the same hopes. “Gentrification is something that we face on a regular basis as working people of color,” she says. “We try to combat that at The Movement Gallery by highlighting the voices and stories of local residence through art shows, workshops, or community gatherings.”

Jevonchi intends for his own performance to “display afrocentrism juxtaposed with traditional and modern views of the black artist,” and highlight the current state of black art brought into popular culture by such innovators as Key and Peele, Kahlil Joseph, and the Queen Beat movement.

“I’m trying to push the dialogue with my own surroundings,” he adds.

Some highlights of the other many performers slated to appear are DJ Luke Martinez – better known by some as LUMA – of Spoonfeedcollective, Deucepop, and Jason PopGuy Ibarra among a score of others. Vendors will include apparel and art designer prayXplot, alternative-lifestyle publication Mushy Magazine, La Palma Vintage, and more.

Food will be done by Devine, a pop-up from chef Jacob Gonzalez, featuring house-smoked red hots with collard green relish, black-eyed peas, and blistered turnips. Gonzalez says approximately 70% of the vegetables served will be coming from Movement Gallery’s own Roots of Change Garden, another community effort from the union, bringing a highlight to the home-grown feel of the night.

Jevonchi and Friends Present InTune starts this Saturday, February 24, at 6pm. The Movement Gallery is located at 1412 E Commerce Street.

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