This past week, I was invited to attend the Nathan Cummings Foundation’s opening ceremony for their multimedia exhibition that featured an array of artists, collectives and organizations based out of New York and all throughout the the world. Curated by Debra Willis and her son, Hank Willis Thomas, each project manifested shared themes ranging from community building to social activism, all based within the essence of collaboration to transcend powerful messages into accessible art. The exhibition, “Social in Practice: The Art of Collaboration,” embodies the spirit of new age expressionism that allows for individuals to utilize the medium of art as a vehicle for dialogue between societal institutions and local communities in conversing on topics they otherwise would not be accessible with political discourse or plain rhetoric. From DPI faculty and alumni, the exhibition was a wonderful showcase that displayed all sorts of visual perspectives, especially from those we typically do not assign much agency and autonomy to in the conventional scheme of things.
As an artist who identifies as a creative composer rather than simply a photographer, writer, or expressionist, I find great solace in knowing my work impacts the ways in which we see, understand, and perform our humanities, as well as recall, remember and digest individual/collective experience. I had the opportunity to converse with some of America’s most legendary Black artists, both from my parents’ and my own generation, and swapped ideas on representation, social justice, art as politics, community, diaspora, oppression, peace, dateless wine, book clubs, and gentrification in the modern American city. I hope once I begin to organize all my work and put them in galleries, I could self-curate myself into the foundation’s exhibit.
For more information about the Nathan Cummings Foundation, visit their site here. As always, remember to support the arts, support your communities, and keep human expression alive.