Marqui Lyons Finds New Opportunity With Her First Curated Exhibition With Hebru Brantley

Julie Kooser | June 21, 2016

Marqui Lyons of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has curated her first art exhibition, featured at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture.

“It was important to me to find a special artist that is world renowned that I could bring to the city of Pittsburgh,” she stated.

In her search, Lyons found Chicago artist, Hebru Brantley. His fun and brightly colored collection is titled “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to be Free,” a story of life’s little triumphs and growth. Anyone who has ever had a dream could easily find themselves in the images.

“A lot of his artwork is very optimistic. It captures a “you can achieve anything” spirit. It’s these youthful characters, vibrant colors, and they’re always in action, whether it’s above the clouds or running or flying or reaching for the stars,” said Lyons.

An image from Hebru Brantley’s “I Wish I Knew How It Felt to be Free,” featured at the August Wilson Center

Lyons has been working with the Trust for just over a year, holding a position as a Program Manager for the Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement department. This is the first position she has held in the art community.

“While I don’t consider myself an artist, I will say I’m a creative.”

She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in broadcast. After an internship in marketing, Lyons found her calling and earned her Master’s for Integrated Marketing Communications at Duquesne University.

She worked for several marketing organizations before taking the opportunity to work for the Trust. Throughout the last year, she has programmed events like concerts and music festivals.

“This is my first curated show, but it definitely won’t be my last; it’s become a passion of mine,” gleamed Lyons.
She hopes that the exhibit will bring people from many of the different Pittsburgh neighborhoods, people from all backgrounds. Lyons believes that the audiences, even those who are not always connecting with the arts, can find a spark with this exhibit.

“I also hope it lets people know that you can make a career out of the arts, whether it’s music, whether it’s visual art, whether it’s film. Whatever it is, you can be successful at it, because Hebru is someone who is a wonderful example of creating work he loves and finding extreme success.”

The exhibit will be available for the public until July 8th, the date of the downtown Gallery Crawl, hosted by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Published in Jenesis Magazine.

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