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 Erica Deeman and Ricky Weaver.
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Erica Deeman (b. Nottingham, UK) is a visual artist whose work explores the intersections of race, gender, and the hybridity of Black identities. Deeman is concerned with the multiplicitous way selfhood manifests through transnational, queer and hybrid modes; and how we find a sense of belonging and ‘home’ through migratory patterns, memory, cultural and personal experience, and ancestral legacy. Her multidisciplinary practice embodies the complexity and transformational nature of Blackness.
Deeman’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Old Truman Brewery, London, UK; Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, CA; Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA; and New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA to name a few. Permanent collections include Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Columbia College of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego, CA; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), Miami, FL; Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ; and Pilara Foundation Collection, San Francisco, CA.
Deeman is co-founder of Black [Space] Residency, and is represented by Anthony Meier Fine Arts in San Francisco, CA.
Ricky Weaver is an Image-based artist from Ypsilanti, MI. She received her BFA from Eastern Michigan University and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Ricky is currently a Teaching fellow at ActCenter Pasadena in California. Ricky has presented their research and participated as a visiting artist at University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin STOUT, The Society of Photographic Education and more.
Weaver is represented by David Klein Gallery (Detroit, MI) and has shown work at the 13th Havana Biennale, Expo Chicago, Photographic Center Northwest, Black Studies Gallery at UT Austin and more. Weaver’s practices interrogates how body, hymn, scripture, and everyday life appear as image, and how that image functions as both archive and vessel.
Ashara Ekundayo is an independent curator, artist, cultural theologian, 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.
She sits on the Advisory Boards of the Global Fund for Women “Artist Changemaker Program,” San Francisco MoMA SECA Committee, and the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music.
In 2019, she founded and currently stewards Artist As First Responder, an organization and 6-point philanthropic, interactive arts platform that reifies artists whose practices heal communities and save lives. She also serves as Cultural Strategist for Chef Bryant Terry’s 4Color Books, an imprint of Ten Speed Press.
Artist As First Responder is supported by:
AECreative Consulting Partners | the African American Art & Culture Complex | Akonadi Foundation | Women’s Foundation of California | Walter & Elise Haas Fund | Tao Rising | William & Flora Hewlett Foundation