“Blackiful” New SF Art Exhibition (June 19 – Aug. 19)
Creativity Explored | 3245 16th St., San Francisco, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
What is it like to be a Black artist at Creativity Explored? A Black artist in general? A Black person surviving a global pandemic? A Black person navigating the world after the murder of George Floyd?
Blackiful, opening June 19th at the Creativity Explored gallery, responds to an ongoing need for Black sanctuary space.
What began as a three-week roundtable series centering the experiences of six Black artists at CE in August 2020 quickly expanded into a group exhibition, one which invited all CE artists who self-identify as Black to co-create Black aesthetic space. Blackiful as an ongoing project considers how individual and collective self-determination [for us] are inextricably linked, whether the space and time we share are physical or virtual. Blackiful the exhibition is a temporary monument to this. It is our speculative praxis, one which is Black on all sides. Blackiful is how we care for one another; it is how we theorize in real-time what it means to share space while we embody serious play.
In August of 2020, artists Alissa Bledsoe, Charles Stanberry, Gerald Wiggins, Joseph Omolayole, Vincent Jackson, and Joseph ‘JD’ Green met with CE teaching artist Danielle Wright to examine these questions. Participants agreed to make the group exclusive to only self-identifying Black artists, partly as an experiment based on the approach of “caucusing by race” informed by Gita Gulati-Partee and Maggie Potapchuck.
In witnessing the artists enthusiastically engage, Wright soon realized that Zoom was the space where Black artists could freely engage in these kinds of conversations. Wright and the artists continued to meet beyond the initially planned three weeks, eventually developing the idea to co-curate a group exhibition of works by Black artists, guided by Dr. Romi Crawford’s notion of serious sociality. Blackiful continues the vital conversations started by the group by exploring the visual character of the work of Black artists at Creativity Explored.
Blackiful, the group, has been and continues to be a way for Black artists at CE to study, discuss, and support one another during the pandemic and in light of the ongoing Movement for Black Lives and racial justice.
Blackiful featured artists: Alissa Bledsoe*, Gerald Wiggins*, Joseph Omoloyaole*, J.D. Green*, Vincent Jackson*, Charles Stanberry, Laron Bickerstaff, Eric Boysaw, Samedi Djeimguero, Christina Marie Fong, Daniel Green, Isaac Haney-Owens, Nita Hicks, Valerie Jenkins, Lakeshia King, Ade Lewis, Tonya Lewis, Taneya Lovelace, Samantha Matthews, Ursula Matthews, Marcus McClure, Musette Perkins, Lance Rivers
*Blackiful core group artists
About Danielle Wright
Danielle Wright is a Bay-Area-born, Chicago-based visual artist. She is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at the University of Chicago.
About Creativity Explored
Creativity Explored is a studio-based collective in San Francisco that partners with people with developmental disabilities to celebrate and nurture the creative potential in all of us. Founded in 1983 by a psychologist and an artist, CE has facilitated the careers of hundreds of neurodiverse artists and serves as a model in the field of art and disability worldwide.
Creativity Explored now serves 130 artists with developmental disabilities offering art supplies, training, exhibition, and sales opportunities in traditional and digital media. CE artists have seen their work exhibited in museums, galleries, and art fairs in over 14 countries and have earned over $2 million from their art. Our life-changing programs continue to open doors of inclusion to center the personhood and creative vision of people with developmental disabilities. Most importantly, Creativity Explored is a source of community, empowerment, and dignity.
Creativityexplored.org | @creativityexplored
Categories: Art & Museums, In Person, Online