Visionary is to see, to look ahead with imagination, to create a future that works for us. Black Alaskan Art Matters has a vision that is cultivating, uplifting, and amplifying Black Alaskan artists past, present, and future. With this vision, we ask ourselves what do we want, how do we take care of ourselves, have the ability, the resources, the respect, and the safety to create?
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.
This piece is called, “Culture”. This is a oil painting I did of my roomate for a project for my painting class at UAA. A self portrait of him as Caucasian hands reach in from outta frame. This piece is a representation of cultural appropriation. In todays society African Americans in high status tend to be seen as trends and entertainment. Hands are grabbing chains, bandannas, hair locs, and pointing at teeth. How a race “borrows”/takes what they want from another group of people. The dimensions are16x24 and the medium is oil paint.
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 name is Collin Sample, I am an inspiring artist and model. I don’t have many social media platforms, but I post most of my art on TikTok @cas_the_artist My Instagram is @collinsample
Meet Da HooDoos is collection of scenes featuring custom Hoodoo dolls, clothing, and miniature sets in 1/6 scale. Many of the items are made using everyday and/or repurposed items.
Antavia "Tavie" Hamilton is an Alaska born artist and consultant in Anchorage. She dearly loves her daughter and Cavalier Spaniel as well as her many family and friends throughout the world. She enjoys tea at home and abroad. Tavie cares deeply about her culture and community and finds inspiration in both.
Meet Da HooDoos is a vision of Black Love which highlights moments in the everyday lives of one BIPOC couple.
Intro official music video: is a pieced shot and directed by myself and Rick Beal. The song was written and produced by myself and deals with both lyrical and visuals themes of isolation, depression and anxiety.
You can find out more at Roblucci.comUncut Gems the EP: is a full length project that is written and produced by myself. This project is made locally, and tackles issues of isolation, mental health, and dealing with outside toxic influences.
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These Projects address the subjects of visionary is in the ways the express taboo subjects such as mental health, sexuality and social anxiety in a way that is combined with harder hitting drill influences. The music videos work to show off the beautiful landscape of Alaska while asleep being juxtaposed with the lyrical content.
Dontaé aka Rob Lucci is an Anchorage producer/songwriter/ director and has been active for a little over a year. 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.
The term “Visionary” can be used to describe the ability to see visions related to one’s dreams. The pieces I have submitted were inspired by dreams I’ve had in the past.
Cosmic Werewolf, 16”X20”, Acrylic.
Fox and Raven, 9”X12”, Gouache and Watercolor.
Deenay is a nerd who was born and raised in Anchorage, AK, but through her parents has roots in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Her initial career path was to be a concept artist for Square Enix, designing monsters and characters. As a teenager she won numerous local juried art shows. She even participated in the NAACP-ACTSO program which qualified her to compete nationally in Philadelphia, PA in 2004.
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.
"Concrete Ladybug" is a digital collage piece. This piece centers sweetness, delicacy, and beauty.
"Queen Cup" is a digital collage piece. This piece centers the concept of duality, with the elements of water and fire. An underwater eruption from a volcano, still burns. Both pieces highlight expression of our emotions and visibility. Both pieces are pdf files with 21x29.7cm dimensions.
Our relationships keep us alive. They keep me alive. This includes our relationship with self, others, and the land that we occupy. Visionary is defined as planning and thinking about the future with imagination and wisdom. Visionary also means being able to see visions in a dream or trance. The work that I submitted addresses the theme by centering Black femme figures interacting with the elements of nature. The landscapes are reimagined and tie in imagination by juxtaposing (underwater/motorcycle, etc) unlikely images. Both pieces explore our relationship to the elements (fire, earth, water, air, spirit) and generate questions about our perceptions of reality and environment.
Sequoya is a licensed social worker, registered yoga therapist, and re-emerging artist. Her work is grounded in holistic practices that center reflection, care, and indigenous models of healing.
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.
"Fuzzy symmetry" is a image of a dandelion from my cell phone. It was still able to display that symmetry and beauty are possible even after something completely changes.
"Ice dancing" is of a leaf on the ground next to McHugh Creek taken with cell phone. The mist of the creek during freezing temperatures created beautiful, natural patterns.
"Peaceful pause" was taken at Virgin Creek in Girdwood, taken with digital camera. Being surrounded by raging waters, moss-covered trees and patches of sunlight is like standing in a surreal place.
This pic is from Eagle River is titled, "Winding winter". I took this shot during a very cold day where it seemed that not just the air, but time, was frozen.
"Log reflection", is an image taken at Potters Marsh just outside of Anchorage, Alaska. I loved the symbolism of when things are calm and you reflect, you can find beauty in the simplest things.
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I am a 40+ year Alaskan who enjoys being creative. Whether it's painting, photography or writing I enjoy being expressive artistically. My photos can be found on Facebook under Bell Photography.
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.
"Low point, high peak" is the name of this photo taken at Potters Marsh. I laid on the bridge to get a unique perspective.
"Surviving darkness" is the name of the photo with the bent leaves. I titled it that because even though there was a lot of black there was some green, so the leaves had some life left in them.
"Fallen near the dance" is what I call this ground level pic taken at Johns Park. I wanted to get on ground level to see the bubbles dancing next to the fallen leaves, and try to capture a moment of it.
"Inner reflection" was taken at Potters Marsh. I could see the top and bottom of the water and all was still allowing for a quiet moment to reflect.
"Instantaneous motion" was taken at Johns Park. I wanted to try and capture the moving bubbles on top of the flowing water.
I am a 22 year old Alaskan who has lived here all my life. I am a proud developmentally-delayed, African-American young man who likes to do photography and writing.
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.
The "Shiny peek a boo" sunset picture is from Campbell Airstrip Road. I made my Auntie slow down driving and stop so I could get it at just the right spot.
"The floating leaf" picture is one of may favorites I have ever taken. I laid on the ground after it rained and tried a bunch of times to get it just like I wanted.
"Stomp" is a picture I took after I stomped footprints into fresh snow and laid on the ground at Pt Woronzoff and took the pics.
"Look down then look around" is from a drive I took with my Auntie on Campbell Airstrip Road. The first snow had happened and I was photographing all the tracks I found.
"Ripples" is a picture I took at Lake Hood of a plane taking off.
I am an 8 year old African American kid. My favorite things to do in Alaska are fly rod fishing and Photography. I am planning on going into Construction and knife design/forging when I am older.
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.
My art is an exploration of the African-American experience in the United States with a look towards an inclusive future. It is visionary in that it aims to connect those from the black diaspora with their Queerness; a subject that is oftentimes too taboo to even discuss in POC households and communities.
Black Lives Matter art piece: Acrylic and Pencil on Canvas, 11" x 14"
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"!!!
Non-Binary art piece: Acrylic and Pencil on Canvas, 11" x 14"
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.
My name is Santana Harris and I am a proud, Black, Transman living and thriving in Alaska. My experiences as a POC in Alaska have given me enough wild stories to last a lifetime or two. I received a degree in Graphic and Multimedia Design but due to a serious nerve injury that affects my dominant hand and arm I hadn't created art in any form in years. I was inspired this Christmas season to challenge myself and to get back in the saddle so to speak. My two submissions here are my first works of art in many years.
Instagram // desmonation
Snapchat // desmonation
Facebook // Desmond David-Pitts
Email // email@example.com
Cashapp // $Desmonationss
My work addresses the theme "visionary" through my perspective on the world and myself. A vision isn't only seeing the future but remembering the past . I chose to talk about topics that we have all experienced because I know when I envision the future it is usually to create a better life than I and my people as a whole, have experienced in the past. By taking deeper looks at our circumstances , actions, and selves; we can better the world just by changing our perspective as "visionaries.
Besides "me," all of these poems were written while I was incarcerated.
"statistic" is a poem about the different ways in how we are oppressed by ourselves and the by the government.
"culture vultures" is about the way people in power have used us as a way of entertaining themselves.
"Being biracial" is about the pros and cons of being biracial
"Fantasy flips faster in my mind" is about losing yourself inside of a book to hide from reality
"me" is a short overview of my growth process READ statistic
Read culture vultures
My name is Desmond and I am the founder of a nonprofit in the making called “Go With the Flow”. I started it back in 2020 to create a healthy space for people to come together as one and heal from not only their individual traumas, but also the traumas of society as a whole. My main focus is the youth, homeless, and incarcerated; however I also want to spread awareness about global warming and other troubles the human race has had and is still facing. I am looking to form my board of directors but also gain the support of other organizations that are dedicated to bettering the people in our world no matter what their background may look like. I am still in the planning phase and it would be amazing to hear feedback on my plans and hear any ideas people have to offer. Whether you only give ideas, feedback, or want to be a part of my team it is up to you but all help is very much appreciated. Email me or message me on any of my social media accounts if you are interested! Also I am raising funds to jump start my nonprofit in february, if you decide I would love the support! In love and solidarity, Desmond David-Pitts
read being biracial
read Fantasy flips
faster in my mind
instagram.com/itsnicholelee / twitter.com/itsnicholelee / soundcloud.com/itsnicholelee “Booked & Busy” is NICHOLE-LEE’s first EP. From its opening lines of “let me start off with my name it’s NICHOLE-LEE and the world is my runway,” Booked & Busy’s vibe is a unique version of female extravagance and queer luxury. The title track's beat is club-ready and NICHOLE-LEE unfurls her lines like she’s ready to take over. “Booked & Busy", is a manifesto song, depicting NICHOLE-LEE’s journey to self-empowerment with a bombastic hook, "What don’t break you make you a bad b*tch / Shoutout to myself I’m lit.”
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. NICHOLE-LEE
NICHOLE-LEE’s EP Booked & Busy introduces a new energy into music and rapping in Alaska. As an MC with commercial potential who's repping for hip-hop's two majorly underrepresented groups (women and the queer community), NICHOLE-LEE is working hard to show the importance of believing in yourself. Booked & Busy is a beautiful metaphor of turning an idea into reality. Rebelling against the narrow, normative society by being an absolute triumph, both as an artist and as a woman, Booked & Busy was created to inspire others to do the same. NICHOLE-LEE’s EP was made with the intention of creating a more diverse and inspiring future for us and the generations whose lives our decisions affect and help shape. All through encouraging others to live their truth and be proud of who they are.
Bermudian rapper/singer NICHOLE-LEE is a new artist from Alaska. Creative, lyrical, and confident rhymes can be found in her music that is a mix of hip-hop/trap and pop. Inspired heavily by New York club and ballroom culture, NICHOLE-LEE proud states in each live show, she “does it for the girls, gays, and they’s.” Repping underrepresented communities is a pillar of NICHOLE-LEE’s sound and you can hear it in her music. The detailed production and unique flows that create her music makes NICHOLE-LEE an artist to look out for.
PayPal, YouTube & Venmo: @ShadaGreen.
I don't have an official name for my photos. It's just part of a larger collection of photos I did when we were dealing with COVID-19 starting. I had half my face covered with masks and needed to get more creative with eyes so I didn't feel like I was fading away. The masks I prefer interfere with my hair so I went back to head wraps. I have a Facebook album called Maskies & Headwraps. For this project though, I made a few photos look like I'm protected by plastic wrap, because... COVID-19.
I express myself with my hair and makeup. Half my face had been covered by masks and then I've had to cover my green hair to protect it from the masks straps. I felt like I was fading away, so I put in extra effort with my eye makeup, wearing colorful masks and headwraps, to express outwardly how I see myself inside. I want others to always see me they way I envision myself.
I love to express creativity through makeup, photo editing, string crafts, watercolor and pretending to know how to draw.
I’m a married, 40-something mom of 3 and a huge fan sharing random vocabulary, trivia, songs, movement, jokes & unsolicited opinions.
JaVeon Brigham was born and raised in Augusta, Georgia, and represents his hometown whenever he can. However, he has recently fallen in love with the quiet and beauty that is Fairbanks, Alaska. JaVeon has been creating music and writing poetry for as long as he can remember. His hobbies include freestyling with his friends and their bands and writing in his journal on long walks. He aspires to learn all he can about Hip-Hop in all cultures.
All of these songs were created while I was walking through my hometown of Augusta, GA, in the months before I would be moving to Alaska. They each came at different periods and locations based on how I felt and the vision I had in my mind. By the time I found an instrumental to write to, I was able to mix my vision into the songs to create something at the end of 2020 that represented my spiritual growth. My vision is healing, reckoning with a new identity, and learning what it means to represent a family. These are the rawest interpretations of myself at the time and therefore really personal.