BLATANT | A Forum on Art, Joy and Rage
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 Zoë Charlton and Adreinne Waheed.
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Zoë Charlton (Baltimore, MD) creates drawings, collages, installations, and animations. Using the nude body, often of Black women, she depicts her subject’s relationship with their world by combining images of culturally loaded objects and landscapes with undressed bodies. Charlton received her MFA degree from the University of Texas at Austin and participated in residencies at Artpace Residency (TX), McColl Center for Art + Innovation (NC), Ucross Foundation (WY), the Skowhegan School of Painting (ME), and the Patterson Residency at the Creative Alliance (MD). Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including The Delaware Contemporary (DE), the Harvey B. Gantt Center (NC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Studio Museum of Harlem (NY), Contemporary Art Museum (TX), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), and Haas & Fischer Gallery (Switzerland). She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012) and a Rubys grant (2014). Museum collections include The Phillips Collection (DC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Birmingham Museum of Art (AL), and Studio Museum in Harlem (NY). Charlton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at American University in Washington, DC. She holds a seat on the Maryland State Arts Council, is a board member at the Washington Project for the Arts (DC), and is co-founder of ‘sindikit, a collaborative art initiative, based in Baltimore, MD. www.zoecharlton.com
Adreinne Waheed is a visual artist based in Brooklyn, NY and Berkeley, CA. Her work bears witness to and holds space for the beauty, brilliance and resilience of Black folks across the diaspora. Ms. Waheed is an accomplished photo editor who, during her 20 year career, has researched, produced and directed numerous shoots, for publications including Vibe, King and Essence magazines. Her photography has been published by The New York Times, National Geographic, Photo District News and The Fader. Adreinne’s work also appears in the inaugural issue of Mfon: A Journal of Women Photographers of the African Diaspora. She has exhibited at Rush Arts, Corridor Gallery, the Underground Museum, the Long Gallery and Betti Ono Gallery. In 2010, she created the Waheed Photo Archive, a collection of found photographs of African-Americans from Civil War to the present. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) acquired the archive in 2015.Her self-published coffee table book, entitled Black Joy and Resistance, was released in December 2018 and is available now on www.blackjoyandresistance.com
Ashara Ekundayo is an independent curator, artist, creative industries entrepreneur and organizer working internationally across cultural, spiritual, civic, and social innovation spaces. Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners 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 radical Black 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 at the Bay Area Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative and sits on the Advisory Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music and the Regional Advisory Board for Arts Web Alameda County. Her platform Artist As First Responder excavates, documents, and archives the stories of present-day and next generation cultural workers whose art practices heal communities and save lives. Ashara recently launched the Reflection Fund for Black Bay Area creatives and is co-founder of Black [Space] Residency, a physical container for imagination, inquiry, activity and rest. www.Ashara.io
Artist As First Responder is supported by: Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative, African American Art & Culture Complex | Akonadi Foundation | The San Francisco Foundation | Wakanda Dream Lab | Women’s Foundation of California | Walter & Elise Haas Fund