Kente Royal Gallery + Marne Lucas Studio To Explore Mortality & The Legacy an Artist Leaves Behind




Marne Lucas ‘Offering’ Assemblage on paper depicting the energy signature of a woman, with gold leaf on her hands.

How many of us take the time to think about our legacy ~ our legacy as a family member, friend, person in our community, or as an artist, and what we might leave behind after we’re gone. The BARDO ∞ PROJECT shines a light on terminally ill artists and creatives nationwide, exploring creativity as a form of spiritual care. It is a project that helps to create their legacy, and in so doing, illuminates the positive effects of art ~ while educating the public about end of life care options. Here, a life’s work is celebrated at that transitional time between death and rebirth. helping to define and create a legacy.

New York-based, multidisciplinary artist, Marne Lucas, is an artistic collaborator who assists the dying in arriving at peace and acceptance. A self-taught artist, Lucas’ was inspired by the Dharma Art and Social Practice movements, activism, and the End of Life Doula and palliative care movements.

Marne Lucas ‘Wet Passengers Cave 2’

In November, the Marne Lucas Studio will present a two person exhibition, exploring mortality and the legacy an artist leaves behind at Kente Royal Gallery in Harlem. The exhibition will include Marne Lucas and Manuel Pecina in the exhibition, Quietus | Marne Lucas and Deidades | Manuel Pecina.

Quietus is an exhibition of assemblages on paper derived from black and white infrared thermal video imagery by Harlem based artist Marne Lucas. Through collage and video stills excerpted from Lucas’ Transmundaneseries and the Bardo ∞ Project the artist explores mortality, the human spirit and transformation.

Marne Lucas, ‘Extra Prayer’ A black and white infrared thermal video still depicting a female goddess in prayer, with gold leaf background on paper

“The images I selected for Quietus were captured with infrared thermal imaging (IRT), revealing eerily beautiful heat signatures. The human body appears luminous, possessing a universal energy, conceptually I interpret the body as part of the spirit world.“….. Marne Lucas.  “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”-Carl Sagan

“As an artist my practice is greatly influenced by my work as an end of life Doula. My artwork and caregiving are in celebration of life; in confronting our mortality we gain a sense of peace and live richer more connected and compassionate lives. I first visited Bardo ∞ Project collaborator Manuel Pecina in Dallas, Texas in December, 2020. A most moving surprise was the early birth of his first grandchild, and I was able to photograph Manuel’s first moments with his son and grandson at the hospital. I made Manuel’s artist portrait later that day. The subsequent Covid-19 pandemic made travel impossible so we continued our dialogue virtually and over the phone. Manuel’s demeanor is always upbeat and his philosophical outlook on art and life is imbued with humor and passionate motivation.“…..Marne Lucas.

Manuel Pecina, Kukulkan, a Mexican Indigenous deity as envisioned by artist Manuel Pecina.

Deidades is curated by Lucas, and is an exhibition by Latinx artist Manuel Pecina and his contribution to the Bardo ∞ Project. Pecina’s legacy photography series is a modern interpretation of Mesoamerican deities in saturated color. Pecina will be present for the opening reception.

“The inspiration for Deidades is derived from Mesoamerican deities whose universality transcends their specific history. These Gods are timeless in that they reflect commonalities in our own predicaments. They are not exotic forms or fictions but guides to heritage and history and a deeper reckoning with our own true self. Every display of beauty and love when projected through the soul should remind us that we are all indigenous. Through this work I am a storyteller, stories informed by my ancestors. The stories are constrained by orthodoxy, so I reimagine the past through the lens of the contemporary.”….Manuel Pecina.

“It was April 1st, 2016 when I was diagnosed with IPF (Idiopathic Pulmonary Fatigue). It has taken me a while to clear my head and regain my center. I am grateful for the lessons, friendships, and discoveries that this diagnosis has brought me. Yet every year I find my quality of life continues to discover new limitations that cause me to rethink what I can do and where I can visit. As I age and feel the weight of mortality, I know that all must come to pass but not before I leave a beautiful memory.”…Manuel Pecina.

Manuel Pecina ‘Mayahuel Kukulcan’

The exhibition, Quietus | Marne Lucas and Deidades | Manuel Pecina,  will be on view from November 3 to November 21, 2021 at Kente Royal Gallery, 2373 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., Harlem, with an Artist Reception on Saturday, November 6 from 6:00 ~ 8:00pm.

As part of the ReImagine: Grief, Growth, and Action Fall 2021 programming  Kente Royal Gallery and Marne Lucas Studio will co-host a series of events. Be sure to RSVP for events you wish to attend, beginning with:

ARTIST RECEPTION Saturday, November 6th, 6 – 8 pm
Artists Marne Lucas and Manuel Pecina will be in attendance.

PANEL DISCUSSION Wednesday, November 10th, 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm
An informal discussion with Dr. William LaRock, RN, PhD,
Artist/end of life doula Marne Lucas,
Grief Counselor, Avery Lenora Ross and
Artist/end of life doula Mangda Sengvanhphen.

During the discussion Q & A is encouraged.
Refreshments will be served courtesy  Harlem-based, Modestine Teas.

Saturday, November 13, Sunday November 14 and Saturday November 20, Drop in anytime between 1:00 and 6:00 pm. All ages are welcome, materials will be provided and participants will go home with their art work.

CLOSING RITUAL- Sunday, November 21st, 3 -5 pm .
Join artists Marne Lucas and Gavin Wilson for a sound healing ritual honoring loss, grief and gratitude.

All events are free, ADA accessible, and will be live-streamed on Instagram and Facebook

For additional information about  the artists The Bardo ProjectMarne Lucas Studio and

Follow Marne Lucas  and EndOfLifeDoulaNewYork on Instagram.

The gallery is required to obtain proof of Covid-19 vaccination for those visiting the gallery as part of the new Key to NYC requirement. Please be prepared to show your vaccination card upon entry. Masks must be worn inside at all times.

The exhibition of Quietus and Deidades are made possible in part with funding from an Arts Engagement grant from the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation (UMEZ) administered by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council LMCC.

Additional support Atlas, Materials For The Arts, Modestine Teas, NPAGNY Medical Group, ReImagine, and Soda/WERKS.

About the Bardo ∞ Project  ~ This is an ongoing collaboration Lucas has with artists nationwide who are experiencing life-limiting disease. Through the creation of legacy projects, the artist’s work and life remain as vibrant and relevant as it was prior to diagnosis.