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Van Gogh’s Understudy: A Modern Ode to Timeless Artistry

February 1 - February 29

“Van Gogh’s Understudy” by Rowena Cage (They/Them) is a vibrant and innovative art collection, debuting February 1st for Black History Month at the Hot Shops Art Center. This series of printed digital artworks reimagines Vincent Van Gogh’s iconic style through a modern lens, celebrating Black women as the sole subject matter. In 19th-century European art, Black women were typically depicted as subjects in roles of servitude, often with sexualized undertones, and commonly adorned in attire that evoked notions of distant, ‘exotic’ lands and colonial realms. Rowena is sharing a different story of who the Black woman truly was at that time. For each piece of artwork Rowena has written a short personal bio story depicting the everyday Black woman of that era.

Inspired by Cage’s awe of ‘Starry Night’ and Van Gogh’s tumultuous yet inspiring life, this collection explores what Rowena imagined it might have been like to be Van Gogh’s understudy. Rowena uses the word understudy in an untraditional sense here, imagining themselves being able to personally experience and explore his creative process first hand get to know the Van Gogh behind the artist and how that would shape their work. Each piece is a vibrant blend of Cage’s unique vision and the spirit of van Gogh’s expressive brushstrokes, creating a mesmerizing dance of color, emotion, and cultural significance. It is a tribute to Van Gogh’s legacy, infused with Rowena’s unique perspective and artistic flair. Each piece is a conversation between past and present, a harmonious blend of Van Gogh’s expressive brushwork and Rowena’s bold, innovative approach. This series is not just a collection of art; it’s a powerful statement on representation, identity, and the enduring impact of artistic expression.

Join us at the Hot Shops Art Center to celebrate Black History Month and experience a collection of work that has been over two years in the making. For more information about the artist click here > 

EXHIBITION RUNS:  February 1 – February 29
ARTIST TALK: Friday, February 23, 6pm
GALLERY HOURS: Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am – 5pm

Click here to register for the Art Talk.


February 1
February 29
Event Category:


Hallway Gallery

Check the details of each Gallery Exhibition listing for any opening/closing receptions or special event details.

Interested in renting our galleries for an exhibit?

The Nicholas Street Gallery rents for $600/month. The Hallway Gallery rents for $300/month.
The Event Space can be used for pop up shows. Contact the office for more details at info@hotshopsartcenter.org