On Saturday, March 1, 2014 Philadelphia Artist, James Dupree held an open reception at the Durpee Gallery 703 S. 6th Street for his “Stolen Dreams in the Promised Zone” exhibit to show case his new works. Mr. Dupree has been in a battle with the City of Philadelphia and an Eminent domain Law that has been threatening to demolish his studio. Through all of this Mr. Dupree still manages to find solace through his paintings. A story is being told with very few words along with colorful abstract features that’s pleasing to the eye. He invited those who could to join him as he shares his love for art with the world and urban community.
As always it’s an honor to meet not only talented but gifted educated individuals who have a desire to share their gifts with the world. I was amazed at his art work and loved each piece for its unique expression. Each piece had a story to tell all their own, with abstract colors and images that expressed one’s inner soul.
When there aren’t many words to say, art can tell a story in many forms with a simple stroke of a brush that speaks volumes…. -Miss, LIV
James Dupree (2005)
Mr. Dupree had suffered a stroke many years back and while recuperating he still managed to continue moving forward by painting self portraits and many other pieces as a form of therapy for himself as he recovered. It takes a lot of faith and strength to keep going in spite of set-backs and or circumstances.
“They will take what took a lifetime to build. Overnight!!” -James Dupree (Stolen Dreams in the Promised Zone)
Each painting expresses his love for his art, the hard work it took for him to build and the sacrifices he had to make along his journey. ART! Is a raw and uncut expression. It’s seen in many forms especially in the urban and poverty-stricken communities. It’s a way for those who have no other outlets to communicate with others who are and may be oblivious to the struggles of a people. Art shed’s a light on oppression, happiness, joy, pain and triumph for those to have a voice and to be heard.
“I want to decide when and if I sell my property, on my terms.” -Artist, James Dupree (“Stolen Dreams in the Promised Zone”” Exibit)
In December 2012 the City of Philadelphia seized the deed of Dupree Studios and granted acquisition to the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority in accordance with the Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Code. City Hall has teamed up with private developers to transform the Mantua section, including the project and development of blocks, regretfully reducing Dupree Studios to a parking lot.
” Give Me Back My Deed” -James Dupree
Mr. Dupree story has buzzed so loud that it caught the attention of Forbes Magazine , Philadelphia Magazine and many more…. I’m so glad that I had the chance to make it out to Mr. Dupree’s event to show my support. I believe Mr. Dupree is doing what any man or woman would do in a situation such as this. Anyone who has worked hard for what they have today with little to no help know what it’s like to have it potentially taken away for another purpose. Is it possible for those developers to find another location to place a parking lot? Maybe. I would like to thank Mr. James Dupree for sharing his ” Stolen Dreams in the Promised Zone”.