YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – An art show in Youngstown highlighted local Black artists and their artwork.

The Trap Melanin Poppin Art Show was held at Culturati Studios Saturday. It was a space for artists to share their work and their forms of expression.

“It’s artistry on every level so there will be music, body paint, canvasses for sale, everything under the sun. Just highlighting the Black community’s art community and trying to get them well involved and trying to get that awareness out that we have artists in every inch of the city,” said Joseph Napier, creator of the Trap Melanin Poppin Art Show.

The show featured several artists from the area, including:

  • Autumn Joi Ellis
  • Bryan Sharper
  • Myke Parker
  • Dion Rosenboro
  • Justice Adams
  • Lex Rushton
  • Tre Howell
  • Winna
  • Yaseen Traylor
  • Zion Monice

“As a creative in general, I love the ability to express myself in multiple different ways. So, I write and I do art,” said Autumn Joi Ellis.

Ellis has been an artist her whole life. She says she has a passion for painting portraits and capturing others in her work.

“Art is a way that I can express not just myself, but I usually express representation in my culture through that,” she said.

She explained one of her favorite pieces, a portrait of a Black man in a hoodie, smiling.

“The smile was what captured me about the photo, so I really wanted to pull that piece out and represent a Black man with a hood, with a smile. Because oftentimes, they’re represented differently than that light so I think that’s a beautiful alternative,” Ellis said.

Napier says this isn’t the first show he’s done like this, but COVID put a halt on it for a while. Now, he’s happy they are able to share this space again.

“Having that space and creating that space even if it’s just for one night, it’s about bringing awareness to the art and artists that actually live in Youngstown and from Youngstown,” he said.