Before BAAM, there was no seat at the table for Black artists in Alaska. No doors open. No platforms and no mics that have reach throughout the state from Fairbanks to Anchorage to Juneau, so us curators teamed up with Perseverance Theatre and built our own table with lots of seats for our family of Black artists and our dinner guests who want to know and experience BAAM.
This is year two of BAAM. We have a year behind us now, thus Alyssa, Amable, and I are more experienced curators. The selected artists are diverse in artistic mediums and are excited to see themselves… their art being respected and appreciated as fine art. Many of our artists this year have responded to the theme by making note of coping with mental health, governmental negligence through the pandemic, violence and racial oppression while tokenizing our existence as the "saviors of this country" which are evident in their creations.
As curators we would like for our collective efforts in this year’s BAAM exhibition to inspire others throughout Alaska and the world to pay closer attention because Black Alaskan Art Matters. Though visionary is typically beyond the present, part of that visioning is responding to what is in front of you presently so that you can imagine the future. It gives a reason to envision, to plan, and create. This year’s exhibition is a moment of solidarity because we agree that being visionary is being vulnerable in a world that wants to destroy us.
This Black History Month 2022 we acknowledge our past and present because Black Alaskan Art Matters enough for us to construct a future that is vibrant and challenges humanity to arrive to a place where we are not only surviving…we are thriving.
I believe this piece addresses “Visionary” through what I hope to become as an artist. A black artist who’s voice, emotion, and vision can reach those who may not understand my culture and also those who do understand and are inspired to make change like I hope to achieve one day.
My Instagram is @collinsample
The song was written and produced by myself and deals with both lyrical and visuals themes of isolation, depression and anxiety.
He’s collaborated with many other local musical acts and has directed videos which has brought in over 100k views and over 500k impressions online.
Her illustration dreams did not pan out, so she fell back on a different passion; Science! Deenay received her Bachelors of Science in Biological Sciences in May 2017. Eventually she plans on going to grad school to pursue a Master of Science degree. For now, she works as a chemist in an environmental health lab, churning out volumes of semi-volatile organic compound data in order to keep Alaska’s soil and water clean.
Traumatic experiences can cause survivors to question their intuition, leading to feelings of hopelessness and defeat. As a queer Black survivor of complex trauma, Sequoya has learned that reconnecting with intuition is a critical step toward restoration. She incorporates yoga, art, and meditation into her practice to restore the relationship between spirit and body. Her artistic work centers the intersections of queer Black femme identity and healing from systemic and interpersonal violence.
She currently resides in Anchorage, Alaska where she consults and creates culturally rooted experiences for self-care and wellness.
The Visionary theme spoke of "...what do we want, how do we take care of ourselves". It also spoke about not only surviving, but thriving. It was those concepts that helped me choose to submit my photos.
I have found that in the past few years it is easy to find negativity, chaos, division and judgment in our world. It can be a personally consuming and overwhelming way to live. Living like this in an ongoing basis has us living in survival mode as a society. During times when I feel surrounded by ugliness, I stop and I pick up my cell phone or camera. I go out and seek to capture moments of uniqueness, beauty and/or peace. I do this to remind myself that there is still beauty, serenity and symmetry in the world. Moments of pause, witnessing unplanned moments of nature and spending creative moments alone - that is how I will thrive amongst the chaos.
I then created a FB page of my photography. I did that so that when other people seek moments of beauty, serenity or peace and can't find it themselves - they can find it there. Pausing, observing and capturing nature thriving, is how the rest of us can too.
The theme of VIsonary talking about going from surviving to thriving summed up for me why I take my pictures. Being on the Autistic spectrum I see the world really differently than others. I survive hard moments/days by capturing moments in the world from my own point of view with photography. I thrive because sometimes it's the only way my perspective can be seen as beautiful.
I take pictures from the eyes and view of a kid. I do photography to help with my anxiety and it helps my mood and focus. I think that looking at things only the way I do is part of being 'visionary'. I always see people look up to take pictures but I think some of the best ones I get are when I look or lay down.
In this piece I wanted to remember all of those who were killed by police. Although many Alaskans may consider these atrocities as just problems of the "lower 48" states, I believe these issues affect us all. While we may live in a time of uncertainty, one fact will always remain... "BLACK LIVES MATTER"!!!
I am a proud, Black, Transman and my life partner is also proud, Black and NON-BINARY. As Queer people of color we do not often see ourselves represented in media. It was many years before the well recognized Pride flag was updated to include people of color. And, too often, non-binary identified people are overlooked or crammed into societal boxes that simply do not fit. So I thought I would take it upon myself to be that representation. For myself, my partner and for OUR home...I stand up and I stand proud. This is my line in the sand. This is my stand.
Snapchat // desmonation
Facebook // Desmond David-Pitts
Email // firstname.lastname@example.org
Cashapp // $Desmonationss
Besides "me," all of these poems were written while I was incarcerated.
faster in my mind READ ME
Some of NICHOLE-LEE' best lines are elegantly self-aggrandizing and enemy-deflating ("In this time zone I’m well known for my aesthetic, so chaperone the shade that you throwin’ before I catch it"), but she's just as capable of executing those moves in more straightforward terms ("they could never be me, disrespectfully").
Even when she's spitting her most aggressive lines, NICHOLE-LEE's signature is her sly irony, and she lacquers it on deliciously thick here on the song “Charge Him” featuring Alaska’s iconic drag queen Glenn Coco ("Wait snatched face attacked beat / Left my ex man ‘cuz I’m driven and he’s parked, no keys to my heart nowadays I push to start").
New York club and ballroom culture are what inspired NICHOLE-LEE to create her EP, and it’s also responsible for the particular air of luxury that pervades each song. Club culture values DIY fabulosity and enjoying life to the fullest, and the overall theme of NICHOLE-LEE’s EP stays true to that spirit. They don't sound like songs about pursuing wealth so much as they profess of a kind of luxury of the self. Which means she's not rapping about accumulating cars and private jets; the finer things in life. NICHOLE-LEE always seems to be saying, self-confidence and knowing your worth are what make a person special.