At Tria Gallery: a Musical, Artistic and Spiritual Experience of Africa

Sabani ensemble playing authentic instruments

The soft, percussive sounds of the musical group Sabani greeted gallery goers before they even reached the portals of Chelsea's trendy Tria Gallery, creating a unique, immersing cultural experience for "Under African Skies", an exhibit of the the collective works of artists Delphine Diallo, Lloyd Toone and Ezra Wube,  comprising paintings, photography, video, collage and sculpture.


Through different perspectives and media, these artists explore the spirituality, beauty, meaning and inspiration of various African cultures.

Whether they moved here directly from Africa, are descendants of those who did, or are merely strongly influenced by those cultures, these artists, and many others, are living literally “Under African Skies” through their work.


 Musicians at rest

Delphine Diallo’s powerful female portraits question traditional notions of beauty and challenge society’s obsession with appearance. Using collage, photography and provocative language, she engages the viewer in a dialogue about African identity, history, fashion and culture. Diallo’s subjects seem to radiate a sense of almost defiant freedom, and to exude power, strength and grace.


Lloyd Toone’s monumental and powerful sculptures of people are inspired by his travels and are made with found objects and recycled materials. He creates soulful representations that feel of the earth. Because of their familiarity and accessibility, the discarded organic objects tend to draw the viewer in and create a bond between emotion and materiality. Witness the sculptureal head of a woman made from discarded tires into a profound, striking statement.


The work of Ethiopian painter and filmmaker Ezra Wube represents his interest in time, place and memory. He reflects on places in his homeland that no longer exist as they did in his childhood and endeavors to capture his memories on colorful canvases. In his short films he uses time-based painting which combines traditional printing methods with technology. The result is a captivating visual experience which provides the perfect referential backdrop for his paintings as well as for the works of Diallo and Toone.


As intrigued art lovers dissected the works with their eyes, the hypnotic music of Sabani, featuring Leni Stern on guitar and n'goni ba, Yacouba Sissoko on kora, Brahim Fribgane on oud and percussion and Kofo lent an authenticity to the African-inspired experience. Their new CD, Leni Stern's "Africa", has just been released, and is available on


Evocative street scene


Seen were Tria Directors Paige Bart and Latifa Metheny, Angelique Anderson, Paris Chang, renowned Haitian artist James H. Brown, Richard Gere look-alike Joe Griffith,  Mahalia Mays (who was smitten with the sculpture "Uptown Girl",) Andrew Bart, Richard Fronapfel, Noelle LeCann, and young couple Christine Weinreich and Florian Proebsting , who discussed the works of art in German. Actress Sheri (Brewer) Bronfman (from the Oscar-winning movie "Shaft"), jazz singer Tammy McCann, and former super model Peggy Dillard Toone also graced the opening.


Under African Skies runs through August 19.  For information on gallery  hours, go to


Peggy Dillard Toone & artist Lloyd Toone

Lloyd Toone's Head made of recycled products

Friend with Glen Tunstull

Tria Director Paige Bart & Paris Chang

Vincenzo Aquaro from the "United Nations" with Antonella Ricco

from "CookitaNYC"

Sarah Bart, Susan and Richard Fronapfel & Andrew Bart

Striking sculpture by Lloyd Toone

Joe Griffiths looks like....

Painting by Delphine Diallo


The crowd listens and looks


Soft sounds from Sabani


Artist Sidi vs Leghead with artist Delphine Diallo


Mahalia Mays with sculpture "Uptown Girl"


Antonella Ricco & Vincenzo Aquaro


Tria director Latifa Metheny with artist James H. Brown


Tria's back room with Art In America show coverage


Richard Fronapfel & Noelle LeCann


Lady with hat!


Lloyd Williams with Barbara J. Harris


Christine Weinreich & Florian Proebsting


Show poster


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