The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford will hold an art exhibition by Edreys Wajed, an artist, hip-hop artist, emcee, singer and producer from Buffalo, N.Y., from March 14 through April 13 in the KOA Art Gallery in Blaisdell Hall.
The exhibition, “On Award Tour,” opens with a reception and talk by Wajed at noon, March 14, in the KOA Speer Electronics Lobby. The public is welcome to attend. A light lunch will be provided.
A multi-talented artist, Wajed also designs jewelry, sells apparel with his designs and, in recent years, has designed and executed murals in Buffalo related to Black history, including portraits of W.E.B. DuBois, Fannie Lou Hamer, Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman on The Freedom Wall commissioned by the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; a mural of John Lewis on the Matt Urban Hope Center; and a mural of Buffalo-born saxophonist and jazz legend Grover Washington Jr.
In 2021, he partnered with the Buffalo Sabres NHL team to design a Breaking Barriers logo in honor of Black History Month. Wajed designed a version of the Sabres’ logo to pay homage to Val James, the first Black player in the NHL.
Wajed and his wife, Alexa, started the creative design agency Eat Off Art with their son, Emeka. Wajed is himself the son of an expert jeweler. His recent work explores the culture and language of hip hop through music, video, metalsmithing, illustration and painting.
Music is the inspiration for Wajed’s work in this exhibition. “My creative process begins by selecting a song that I have a connection with emotionally or association with from memories throughout my life,” Wajed said.
“The song is played on repeat for several minutes, sometimes hours, if necessary, as this begins the study of the song, its parts, vocals and instruments. I isolate each component of the song, piece by piece, translating its sound, movement and rhythm through the use of the symbols and marks I’ve developed, creating a painting or drawing that radiates music to the eye, sparking the imagination of the viewer to imagine the unfamiliar or recall the song from memories and experiences of their own. Each painting stands as a visual representation of the audio recording and song itself with emotion, bounce and vibration.”
He earned a Master of Fine Arts at the University of Buffalo in 2022. See samples of Wajed’s work on Instagram at @edreys and @eaoffart.
The exhibition is presented by Pitt-Bradford Arts. See more upcoming events at www.upb.pitt.edu/TheArts.