International Visions Gallery Presents The Story of Our Skin Group Exhibition at Montpelier Arts Center

By Editorial Team on November 16, 2020

Sat, 14 November 2020 - Sun, 10 January 2021

The Rose that grew from the concrete acrylic on paper on canvas 32 x 44 2018 by Luis Peralta Del Valle.
Curator Talk: Saturday, November 21 at 2pm

Tim Davis, artist, curator will be speaking on Facebook live. For more information call 301-377-7800 or visit

The Story of Our Skin is an exhibition of figurative works and portraiture featuring people of color. Four artists: Luis Peralta Del Valle, Al Burts, Preston Sampson, and J’Nell Jordan, draw on everyday life and historical events and icons for their subjects. The artists transform materials to create their paintings and mixed media compositions in wood, metal signs, handmade paper, and other innovative techniques. This exhibit will show the strength and dignity of people of color from the past, present, and future.

Luis Peralta Del Valle was born in Nicaragua in 1980 and migrated to the U.S. in 1985. At the age of 13 he started painting graffiti murals in the District, Maryland and Virginia. A few years later at Bell Multicultural High School he began his formal artistic education, continuing his studies at the Corcoran College of Art and Design. The murals, portraits, and landscapes Del Valle creates tell stories in vibrant colors and realistic figures. They draw the viewer into the long traditions of art and yet speak to the viewers’ modern sensibility. Luis continues to grow his unique personal artistic sensibilities while remaining an active leader in the metropolitan arts world. Luis has exhibited his works at various museums and institutions including; NCIS headquarters, V.A., The Embassy of Italy, The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, The Historical Society of Washington DC, The Vatican Embassy, and the Frederick Douglass­ Isaac Myers Museum in Baltimore, MD.

J’Nell Jordan paints with oil on top of metallic acrylics using a subtractive fashion of painting, where I wipe away, etch into and press against the top layers of oil paint to layers underneath. What I LOVE about painting with metallics is that lighting plays a large part. Different lighting situations: dim lights, spot lights and day light bring different dimensions to the pieces and allow the viewers to interact with the pieces from different angles and distances.J’Nell has shown her work at various galleries in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Her art has been selected for the Hello Again Lincoln Motor Tour, an outside drive-through exhibition. She’s also been an Artist-in-Residence for the Black History Month Poster Project guiding Suitland High School’s selected art interns in 2016 for the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Division.

Preston Sampson is a figurative artist whose illuminating works on un-stretched and un-primed canvas have gained him a national acclaim from private and institutional art collectors. Sampson uses acrylic paints; his vigorous brush strokes pulsate with rhythm and energy. His goal is for his figurative portrayals “to emote, touch and move you to the center of it all.” Another reoccurring theme in Samson’s work is the dominant male figure, done in epic and heroic scale, exuding pride and dignity. Sampson’s paintings are in many public collections such as. The Washington Convention Center, Bank of America, the Washington Post, and the National Education Association, Yale University, DC Commission on the arts and Humanities, The David Driskell Center to name a few. He also is in many private collections including of Samuel L. Jackson, Maya Angelou, and Darrell Walker.

Al Burts creates portraits of African American with themes such as homelessness, migrations and struggles of average Americans. He is a skillful artist who uses the thin lines of a ballpoint pen to create bold works of art that display different emotions and feeling for the viewer to engage. He creates unique portraits through his unique style of carefully using line and space, and parts of various individuals that he may experience in his life. Their stories are conveyed through a painting, drawing, or other mixed media. He works on a variety of surfaces including un-stretched canvas, paper and wood to displace his realistic and symbolic images inspired by the African roots of America. Al has exhibited through out the U.S and The DMV area He has shown at Art Basel, Scope and was a simi-finalist for Bombay Sapphire artisan series. Al is in many private and public spaces such as; Roosevelt High School, Washington DC, DC Commission and Humanities, Art Bank collection, University of Illinois, Chicago, University of Maryland Global Campus, and Kennesaw State University, Marrietta, GA.

Montpelier Arts Center is located at 9652 Muirkirk Rd. Laurel, MD.