Music Crossroads (MC) is a non-profit organisation which uses the power of
music education, professional training, live performances and promotion of
talented youth to empower them and support the development of the music
education sector and the music industry in the culturally rich southern African
Established in 1995 by Jeunesses Musicales International, the world’s largest
youth music network, MC has reached more than 200,000 young musicians
and over 500,000 audience members in southern Africa.
Our unique Music Crossroads Academies in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe,
established in April 2013, empower talented young musicians with an affordable
and innovative music education program and the necessary tools for a career
Scholarships, which make up to 40% of the intake, are available to marginalised
youth, who could not otherwise access music education. These are the students
that will be benefiting from this initiative.
The Acrylic Melody Exhibition is an initiative that seeks to bring together artists from
around the world to give a helping brush.
The fundraising vernissage and art exposition displays music-inspired wood block
paintings (20x20cm) of artists and art enthusiasts from over 20 countries.
All proceeds go towards scholarships and benefit the students at our three music
academies in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
18 > 28.02.2016
Rue de la Tête d’Or 7
1000 Brussels - Belgium
with the kind support of
EXGAMO and LE GÉANT DES BEAUX-ARTS
At Music Crossroads, we put every effort into supporting talented young people in Africa by
providing them with music education and training.
We are very grateful to all the artists who have seen value in what we do and decided to donate
their work of art to this fundraising initiative.
The beautiful works you will see at the exhibition were inspired by music. Music means much
more to the young people we work with than any of us could ever imagine. In the challenging
environments within their home countries, music has given our students a chance to make a
living, a way of earning respect and credibility within their communities and for some, a reason
This is why we strive to provide the best possible education and opportunities and - with your
support - we may continue to help these young people develop and use their musical talents,
empowering them through music.
On behalf of these young people, we thank you.
(Music Crossroads’ Director)
Art, such as music, has its focus through the “free-crossing” of experiences and geographical
references, also thanks to a conceptual and contemporary expressive nomadism. In this
framework, a new geographical communication emerges from which we can observe an art of
endless “crossing” or exchange. The result is multiple artistic and symbolic productions, where
classical and new iconographies are well-balanced.
The intention of the Music Crossroads Acrylic Melody Exhibition is to achieve a sort of synergy
between thought and organisation in phenomenology, as it regards contemporary art and music
from different cultural contexts.
The participating artists, art students and enthusiasts all come from a variety of different countries
and/or cultures. In carefully observing each of the over 85 panels donated, we can see colours and
forms uniquely manifest on wood. Each painting tells a personal story of musical emotion and/or
reason, looking for a language in which we can find the “melody” of surrounding artistic values
mixed with energy. It is an exchange between different traditions. In each work technique joins
sensibility, evolving into a material expression of rhythm, harmony, colour, gesture and thought,
paying its tribute to music.
Through its empowerment of African youth through music education, non-profit organisation
Music Crossroads has shown how artistic and cultural expression bring people together for
social betterment. The relationship formed between art and music in the context of their Acrylic
Melody initiative is clearly a positive and effective example, which further stresses the universal
significance of culture, music and the arts in society.
Genny Di Bert
Art Critic and Historian
MARIE-AGNÈS LE GUEN
NANCY MARISA ARLT
Born in New York, raised in Ireland, Derick
Smith initially began a career in design
before moving on to chemical photography
which resulted in his first solo exhibition
in New York (2006). Later, he began to
experiment with sculpture and painting after
graduating from the National College of
Art and Design, Dublin (2012) and has since
exhibited in national and international group
His most recent solo exhibition took place in
Dublin’s La Cathedral Gallery (2015) and was
later invited to exhibit work at the opening of
a new Moscow gallery, Art Baza (2015).
Primarily I think about emergence
and about drawing forth something
which is unseen. When successful, a
form or image can be distinguished
which pulls away from the paint. It
can absorb your attention for a moment
before the illusion fades and the
awareness of the physicality of the
paint as an object draws you back.
In his paintings: Magnesium on Blue 1, 2 &
3, an attempt has been made to create the
impression of solidity and form, through the
interaction of the paint with itself. Within the
drips are contained micro universes which
are offered as invitations for the viewer to
interpret as they so wish.
Smith’s pondering of emergence and the
unseen recalls the overall theme of the Acrylic
Melody initiative, music and its very essence:
Through his abstract work, Mexican painter
Xavier Yarto creates unique and impactful
images of strongly exuding energy, vibrance
and symbolism, via his use of colour and
Yarto seeks to go beyond abstract art by
combining his technique with “high-relief”, of
pre-Hispanic culture. By doing this, the artist
transforms concept by reinforcing it with a
new set of colours that he creates to highlight
meaning in each icon used in his work.
After exhibiting in several renowned places in
his native Mexico, Yarto has been invited to
present his work abroad, in countries including
Sweden, Netherlands, Spain, England, Austria,
France, Italy, United States and Belgium.
Yarto’s art offers the viewer the quality of
an abstract work, whilst taking on figurative
and iconic symbols of the enigmatic world
of pre-Columbian art in a new way. The artist
describes his work as “a recreation of the
Hispanic culture with a modern language.”
Much like many elements of his cultural
heritage, including music, the pieces Yarto
has chosen to donate to the Acrylic Melody
initiative are effervescent, powerful and
Born on December 30, 1951 in Merida, Yucatan,
Mexican artist Reyna Zapata manifested her
very first artistic inclinations and desire to
become a painter at an early age.
Zapata officially launched her career upon
obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts,
followed by a Master’s Degree in Painting at
the former Escuela de Artes Plasticas of the
National Autonomous University of Mexico
(UNAM), currently the Faculty of Arts and
Design of the UNAM (FAD).
Zapata defines herself as an artist who
admires Magical Realism, and uses primitive
and Venetian techniques, sometimes between
the figurative and abstract.
So far, the artist has exhibited in both
collective and individual art shows in Mexico,
reportedly selling around 600 paintings of
various techniques and genres, including
portrait and landscape. Of her work, Zapata
I think that one of my main skills is the
domain of the techniques of painting
material which have enabled my
ability to give full rein to my creativity
on a whim, from the most academic
figuration to the purest abstraction
from color, form and materials.
The two panels donated by this artist for the
Acrylic Melody initiative may be seen as an
ode to the vibrant colours, energy and magic
associated with Mexican tradition in music
MARIE-AGNÈS LE GUEN
Belgian artist Marie-Agnès Le Guen deeply
jubilates while painting and enjoys constantly
mutual enrichment through contact with
Combined with her sincere affection for
Africa, Le Guen was strongly compelled to
take part in the Acrylic Melody initiative for
its collaborative nature and its aim at helping
give African youth access to music education.
To the artist, semi-abstraction may be an
answer to music-listening, in that “you’re not
any more in exact representation of life, but
let your feelings break through”.
The works Le Guen has donated to the
initiative invite interaction by requesting the
viewer to “play around with the six elements”
(panels) presented, which together seemingly
compose an abstract puzzle concealing three
figurative elements (musical instruments).
United States of America
Paris-based American artist Christy Titus began
forging her own artistic path upon graduating
in Communications and focusing on her love
of art after a year of humanitarian work.
Christy developed and perfected her craft
whilst completing further studies at Bowling
Green State University and the Art Students
League of Denver. Predominately working in
the field of painting, she caught the attention
of master painters Daniel Sprick and Quang Ho,
who mentored her during her time in Denver.
The artist has exhibited with NEXT Gallery,
Tesoro Artisans Gallery and Core New
Art Space, as well as injuried exhibitions
throughout the United States. Most recently,
she has exhibited at HEC Paris in Jouy-en-Josas,
France. Christy is currently a resident artist at
59 Rivoli Collectif d’artistes in downtown Paris.
The works donated for the Acrylic Melody
initiative were inspired by music that the
artist listens to while painting in her studio.
I tend to flip between soft music and
upbeat depending on how I’m feeling
that day. These two panels are a
product of listening to both. ‘Blue Like
Jazz’ was painted while listening to an
album by The Civil Wars, and ‘Back to
Nature’ was painted by listening to a
collection of popular music.
The Italian diplomat Giorgio Radicati has
always cultivated his passion for the visual
arts and writing, whilst advancing his political
Years of living in the world’s leading cities as
a diplomat, representing his native country
to foreign audiences, caring for immigrant
populations and celebrating life in varied
languages and cultures, have shaped Radicati’s
world-view and artistic sensibility.
Radicati’s involvement in the Acrylic Melody
initiative is due to his love for and time spent
working in Africa, where he initiated several
cooperative aid programs in many states
of the continent, including Zimbabwe and
Since discovering his artistic vein, Radicati
has gone from a purely figurative style to
an abstract-informal style via the use of,
mainly, acrylic and mixed media techniques.
The prolific artist has exhibited in both solo
and group exhibitions –in Italy, Turkey, Czech
Republic and the U.S.— as well as published
various articles, essays and books.
The artwork donated on behalf of the
artist: Composizione Musicale (Musical
Composition), is a striking visual ensemble
that functions as a relic or testament and
ode to music and art from a modern though
NMA (NANCY MARISA ARLT)
Berlin-based artist NMA first emerged onto
the German art scene in 2004, following her
graduation from the University of Arts in
NMA was raised in a city divided by a
wall, having thus experienced both sides
before and after the fall of the Berlin wall.
Her art is heavily influenced by the city‘s
new-found sense of freedom, a spirit of
unlimited possibilities and a feeling of former
restrictions rupturing, leading to limitlessness.
The artist’s most recent long-term staple
project, and one of her most compelling, was
a compilation of paintings interpreting the
vast assortment of musical pieces by world
renowned composer Richard Wagner onto
canvas, in honor of his bicentennial in 2013. An
installation that was described by Wagner‘s
great granddaughter Katharina Wagner as
“extraordinarily successful” and “inspiring”,
as well as “controlled conversion” and “highly
The inspiration for the two pieces The Source
and Rhythm was the impulse, that special
moment out of which music and creative
processes in general evolve.
Greece / Italy
Brussels-based Greek/Italian artist Luciana
Grazian Mathioudakis has studied in Italy and
lived and worked between England, Greece
During the last twenty years, she has attented
classes with artists like Viviane Cangeloni,
Veronique Decoster, Ana Pentcheva, Nikolai
Nikolov, and Anne Desobry.
After many years spent using oil paint and
pastel, she lately works with beeswax. The
use and manipulation of beeswax for her
works consists of an ancient Greco-Roman
technique known as Encaustic.
The centre of her work is communication in
all its forms, including music and dance, as it
is shown in her three works donated for the
Acrylic Melody initiative.
Lithuanian artist Dovile Simonyte is a BA
graduate from Slade School of Fine Arts and
amongst our youngest contributors. Through
her art, Simonyte aims to “reach and develop
everyday intuitive power of knowing before
thinking, taking unknown paths and following
a mind compass to reach the desired
According to Simonyte, having come from
the far north of Lithuania has compelled
her to daily exercise such abilities, including
intuition, as road signs are nearly non-existent
in that region of the country. To her, this is also
applicable for many of her fellow millennials
today, who were born into a rapidly and everchanging
world where conventional values,
education or family structures no longer bear
much assurance for the future.
The panel donated for this exhibition is
inspired by the hand, which may be seen as
the ultimate universal instrument that can
simultaneously receive and produce. After all,
hands are our primary tools used to create
sound, melodies and all other forms of artistic
expression. It is through the guidance of
intuition that we can improvise channeling our
destiny (artistic and/or musically) written on
Born in San Rafael, Argentina, Gisella Famá has
always had a curious and venturesome soul. At
the age of 18, she moved to Mendoza City to
realise her dream of studying architecture and
that of pursuing her artistic passions, painting
Upon completing her studies in Argentina,
Famá was compelled to begin exploring
new settings and thus decided to move to
Italy, where she obtained a Masters degree
in Landscape Design & Management of
Green Urban Spaces and a second Masters in
Architectural & Urbanism Projects.
Today Gisella Famá is active in the areas of
Architecture, Landscape, Graphic Design and,
in her free time, the Visual Arts.
The two panels donated by this artist for the
Acrylic Melody initiative are inspired by the
element of change in everyday life, including
how it influences music over time. As society
changes, music changes with it, shown via the
ongoing evolution of musical memes through,
for instance, variations in instruments, genre
and style preference.
We live in a fractal world, which is
mutating all the time. We are living
in a new measurement of time and
surrounded by thousands of elements
that are going faster and faster:
everything is dynamic and has flexibility
Young Canadian artist Susan Willcocks is
currently studying Studio Arts in Montreal.
As a teenager, she made a personal promise
to use the impact of art to make a difference
in someone’s world. Her works, in varied
genres (drawing, painting, photography and
sculpture), have been seen in solo and group
exhibitions in various regions of her home
province of Québec.
Growing up in a small, multicultural village,
Susan was immersed in two very different and
often antagonistic cultures: Québecoise and
Anglophone. Living in two distinct linguistic
traditions during her formative years, she
became intrigued by the concept of language.
She observed that, while a language may
be incoherent noise to a non-speaker, some
sounds are universally recognisable: laughter,
the sounds of joy and the sounds of sorrow.
Music also has the power to transcend
linguistic barriers, to be felt, experienced
and lived by every single being
on our planet. It creates a bridge for
humanity, making the world one.
Willcocks explores this theme visually in her
works donated to the Acrylic Melody initiave:
Explosion of Sound and Unum.
OF FINE ARTS
Federica di Pietrantonio
Art Company is primarily a creative space
based in Brussels that brings together amateur
and professional artists. Regardless of
their experience, anyone can learn multiple
painting techniques and experience the freedom
to create in a climate of joy and confidence.
For this initiative, Laurence Nitlich chose
a group of 6 students working on real and
dreamed landscape. Laurence proposed to
assemble all the wooden panels in one setting,
so that participants could determine,
alone or in a small group, a territory where
they wanted to express. This opened a reflection
on the border and cohabitation. Participants
then painted landscapes influenced by
a selection of music chosen for their wealth
of timbres and rhythmicity (Carnival of the
Animals by Saint-Saens; Pictures at an Exhibition
by Mussorgsky...). This resulted in a series
of panels with both bold and pastel colours.
These vibrant colors perfectly reflect the musical
tracks that they were listening to (Urban
Night Symphony; Wheat Field Gospel; Purple
Rain Melody; Sunny Afternoon Concerto;
White Lake Blues).
Artists: Annick Lenoble, Anyse Maunier, Christine
Renard, Debbie Reich, Denise Ramet and
OF FINE ARTS (RUFA)
RUFA is a private Fine Arts Academy based in
Rome, Italy, established in 1998. The aim was
to create a place that married both aspects
of the creative process: concept and practice,
to better capacitate students to enter the
workforce in real-time. Over 450 students are
currently enrolled in the Academy, under the
guidance of 70 teachers, which are also all
active professionals in their respective fields.
Students from RUFA’s Painting Department,
with the collaboration of Professor Fabrizio dell’
Arno, take part in the Acrylic Melody initivative
with their donation of the following works:
Unione di gocce (Union of Colors), Musica
(Music), Frammenti pt.1 (Fragments Part 1),
Wild was the Wind, Traccia MI (Track MI), Ciò
che è detto dalle note (That Which Is Said By
Artists: Caterina Gianfelici, Federica di Pietrantonio,
Francesca Ruggeri, Gaia Flamigni,
Giacomo Santini and Giulio Cosimi.
THANK YOU, KHANIMAMBO, OBRIGADO, ZIKOMO!
The Music Crossroads’ team would like to thank all artists for their contribution
to the Acrylic Melody initiative. Without your kind support, time and dedication,
this initiative could not have been possible.
A big thank you to Genny Di Bert for the introductory text for this catalogue.
We would also like to thank our sponsors, Dominique (Exgamo) and Julia
Smolenkova (Maison Burganov) for providing the space for the exhibition.
Thank you to Les Géants des Beaux-Arts for donating the paint used by the
participants at the very first Acrylic Melody event. Finally, we would also like to
thank Bopalux Bakery and Deborah Pinna for their kind contribution towards
food served at our vernissage.
Cover art by: Veronica Radicati
In partnership with:
A program of: