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"Family Secrets," an exhibition featuring artwork by a number of black artists, opened January 31 at the Tivoli Gallery. A kickoff for Black History Month, the show will remain on display through February.

Curating the show was local artist Benjamin Cabey. He said the show's title, "Family Secrets," represents a symbol of the external influences that have impacted black culture over generations - "the pain, the joy, the sorrow and our ability to cope with it, be nurtured by it . . . and achieve."Although only a handful of artists are spotlighted in this show, it undeniably celebrates the diversity of styles that is prevalent among black artists today.

Joseph Amedokpo lives in Togo, West Africa, where he supports his family solely through his painting. Due to the inaccessibility of canvas, Amedokpo paints on stretched flour sacks.

His unique style contains stylized human figures, patterns and textures. Often he paints the imagery with a balanced mix of warm and cool colors. But more important than color is line. Wide lines delineate the main figures; thin lines further define the shapes; and textures fill in the spaces in between.

Charles Bibbs' versatility ranges from mixed-media drawings and paintings to clay vessels and masks. On display here are works where he has used ink and acrylic. He interweaves these two processes in his flowing, rhythmic, stylistic human figures.

Howard Marshall Jr. cuts his semi- and totally abstract shapes from paper. Apparently he uses an X-acto knife to create intricate detail.

Marshall will also have works exhibited from Feb. 17-29 in the Union Gallery at the University of Utah and at the Calvary Baptist Church, 532 E. 700 South.

Cabey has exhibited his work at Tivoli before. His style is markedly different from the other artists. His love for abstraction and color is evident in his acrylic paintings, contemporary furniture and display stands.

The imagery in his highly innovative paintings occasionally flows over onto the frame.

His magnificent coffee-table top isn't real marble, although it looks like it. Cabey has made this trompe l'oeil surface by cleverly using acrylic paint, epoxy resin and other materials.

In addition to works by these artists are several black stone sculptures from the Shona Tribe in Zimbabwe. These pieces are consigned to Tivoli Gallery. And there are some outstanding prints for sale by a number of outstanding black artists.

The exhibit, sponsored by Amoco and Rainbo, can be seen in the downstairs gallery at Tivoli, 255 S. State Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. For evening appointments, call 521-6288.