BLATANT | A Forum on Art, Joy and Rage
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BLATANT is a forum and live zine series authored and facilitated by Independent curator and cultural strategist Ashara Ekundayo that centers the lived experiences and radical imagination of Black womxn artists and cultural workers creating across discipline and geography. Presented in conjunction with her “Artist As First Responder” platform, this monthly discussion highlights artists whose creative practices heal communities and save lives. Follow Us on IG @blublakwomyn @artistasfirstresponder @moadsf
This month Ashara Ekundayo will be in conversation with Gia Hamilton and Dawn Okoro.
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Gia M. Hamilton is known for her visionary ability to identify and cultivate support systems within communities. Gia is an applied anthropologist with a social design practice which focuses on land, labor and cultural production. She has worked as a thought leader in the arts and cultural sector through real estate development, new business modeling and placekeeping for 15 years. Some of her notable projects include co-curating the Atlanta Biennial in 2016; developing The Urban, a 55,000 square foot space in Overtown Miami during Art Basel with Welcome to the Afrofuture, an art activation in 2018; leading the development of the Joan Mitchell Center artist residency program from 2011-2018 and taking the helm as Executive Director and Chief Curator at the New Orleans African American Museum in 2019. Hamilton is also on the board of directors of Alliance of Artist Communities and a national advisor for Prospect.5 and Museum Hue. Gia is a New Orleans native and lives in Treme with her five sons and partner.
Dawn Okoro is a painter, fashion designer, and videographer living in Austin, Texas. Her desire to make art sparked from her love of fashion illustration, photography, and design. She uses fashion as a means of aesthetic expression and resistance. This fall, Okoro exhibited her work at Unit London and Koplin Del Rio Gallery. Her art has been featured in Architectural Digest, Hyperallergic, Forbes, and on BET’s The First Wives Club.
Ashara Ekundayo is an independent curator, artist, designer, creative industries entrepreneur and organizer working internationally across cultural, spiritual, civic, and social innovation spaces. Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners and her projects Omi Arts Project + Space and Ashara Ekundayo Gallery, she places artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement-building. Her intersectional worldview offers both an Afrofuturist and Black radical feminist framework to the public sector by centering the lives, traditions, and expertise of Black womxn of the African Diaspora. Currently, Ashara serves as Chief Creative Catalyst for the Bay Area Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative, serves on the Advisory Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, and is the author and editor of the Artist As First Responder multi-media platform which excavates, documents and archives the work of artists who creative practices heal communities and save lives.
The Artist as First Responder Project is supported by: African American Art & Culture Complex | Akonadi Foundation | The San Francisco Foundation Wakanda Dream Lab at Movement Strategy Center | Women’s Foundation of California