B L A C Project —
Week 1 of February 2024
Margaret Burroughs and Elizabeth Catlett were trailblazers in the fields of art and education, leaving an indelible mark on society through their creative contributions and commitment to social justice. As we celebrate their legacies, let's delve into their lives and the impact they had on shaping the cultural landscape of their time and beyond.
Margaret Burroughs (1917–2010) was a multifaceted artist, educator, and activist whose work centered on promoting African American culture and history. Born in Louisiana and raised in Chicago, Burroughs co-founded the DuSable Museum of African American History in 1961, recognizing the importance of preserving and celebrating Black heritage. Through her art, she depicted the richness of African American life and history, challenging stereotypes and advocating for racial equality. Her renowned linocut prints and sculptures reflected themes of resilience, identity, and community, inspiring generations of artists and activists.
Elizabeth Catlett (1915–2012) was a pioneering sculptor and printmaker known for her powerful depictions of the African American experience and the struggles for civil rights. Born in Washington, D.C., and later residing in Mexico, Catlett's art was deeply influenced by her own heritage and the social injustices she witnessed. Her sculptures, often carved from wood or stone, captured the strength and dignity of Black women, while her prints served as visual narratives of resistance and resilience. Catlett's commitment to social change extended beyond her artwork; she taught at various institutions, empowering students to explore their own identities and advocate for equality through art.
Both Burroughs and Catlett understood the transformative power of education and the arts in fostering empathy, understanding, and social change. Through their pioneering efforts in founding cultural institutions, creating impactful artwork, and nurturing future generations of artists and activists, they paved the way for greater inclusivity and representation in the arts and education.
In celebrating Margaret Burroughs and Elizabeth Catlett, we honor their unwavering dedication to uplifting marginalized voices and their enduring legacy as champions of social justice and cultural enrichment. Their contributions continue to inspire us to create a more equitable and vibrant society, where the arts serve as a catalyst for positive change and collective empowerment.
Art Exhibition in San Diego
Month of February 2023
This is an intimate exhibition where not taking the art at face value is encouraged. Through sound and visuals, we are fostering more profound connections that deepen our experiences while inspiring the audience to discover new parts of themselves through different lenses.
The objective of this experience is to explore primitive art and resources from our ancestors, learn from our peers, and seek optimism for our future. Dissecting the transformative and healing ways art can be a vessel for release within the Black community is what we hope to illustrate.
We will showcase art from Amel Janae and Neville Greene and poetry by Rudi Fate. We are collaborating with the exhibition, Africa in Context: Mesa College World Art Permanent Collection, curated by Dr. Denise Rogers, to provide a distinct and cultural experience.
BHM Collective Highlight
Month of February 2021
“Where We At” Black Women Artist Inc. In early 1971, Kay Brown, Dindga McCannon, and Faith Ringgold gathered a group of black women at McCannon’s Brooklyn home to discuss their common frustrations in trying to build their careers as artists. Not only did they find that juggling their creative ambitions with their roles as mothers and working heads of households left little time to make and promote their art, but they also felt excluded from the largely white downtown art world as well as from the male-dominated black art world.
“Where We At” was initially the title of a 1971 art show featuring Black women artists. The women decided to take the synergy and mold it into an art collective that supported one another’s life, art, and careers. WWA also took up the cause of developing the mind and spirits of their communities by creating art and culture workshops in schools, prisons, hospitals, and cultural centers.
Month of February 2021
INTO•ME•I•SEE features artist Ramel Wallace aka Real J. Wallace. Ramel has a reputation for breaking down barriers and reaching back to pull up the people behind him. He inhabits the mind, body, & spirit of San Diego-based Hip Hop artist, local activist & respected community leader.
From neighborhood freestyler to board member of the San Diego African American Museum of Fine Art, Real J. is as passionate about serving his community as he is dedicated to preserving Black culture through music and storytelling.
In 2014, he founded The Holyfield, a community based organization focusing on music, education & empowerment. In December of 2020 he was named the first Black host of CreativeMornings San Diego.
As a Hip Hop educator he has spoken at CreativeMornings, USD, UCSD, SDSU, A Reason to Survive (ARTS), David's Harp Foundation, and many other nonprofits and institutions about how to use art as a form of social activism and therapy.
For the last decade Real J. has released projects in dedication to The Martin Luther King Freeway (94 Freeway) to suggest the MLK interstate as also an “Inner-state of Mind.” With credits that include albums with Blu and Soulection's AbJo. Real J. has been on the scene for over a decade, opening for Saul Williams, Adrian Younge, Talib Kweli, Blackalicious, Action Bronson, Pharoahe Monch, Hieroglyphics, Snow Tha Product, Blu and many more.
His great grandma, Amelia, moved to Barrio Logan (San Diego, CA) from Pensacola, Florida in the 60's and his greatest accomplishments are being the son of Nia Hillard and the Grandson of Regina Wilson. They know him as The Last Black Man in Barrio Logan.
Month of February 2021
INTO•ME•I•SEE features Queens D. Light, a rap artist, performer, and filmmaker based out of Oakland, CA. Her unique sound is influenced by a mix of genres like Dance, Electronic, Hip Hop and Punk music. Her groundbreaking performances are both memorable and mind bending. She has toured with Anderson .Paak and shared stages with artists Georgia Anne Muldrow and Shabazz Palaces.
QDL creates a multimedia experience by pairing her short films and installations with her musical performances. Her work has been seen at San Francisco MOMA, Noise Pop Festival, and Berkeley Art Museum, and Pacific Film Archive. She has taught courses on film at San Francisco State University and lectured on Black Feminist in Music at UC Berkeley. Queens D. Light is a layered artist destined to have a lasting impact in the art world.
Queens also co-founded The House of Malico, a multi-medium platform re-imagining contemporary culture through the vision and voices of (queer) women of color. With the purpose to cultivate communities of artists and entrepreneurs whose work is invested in cultural progression. Their works and curated experiences have reached international and local audiences across the Oakland Bay Area, Hawai‘i, NYC and Shanghai. Their installations have graced publications like The Fader, Lei Culture, Paper Magazine, East Bay Express and listed within YBCA”s Top 100 creative influencers. Work has been featured by Oakland Museum of California, Contact Hawai‘i 2018, Hawai‘i International Film Festival (2017 & 2018), Queer Brilliance Film Festival, T-Galleria by DFS, SomArts, Afro Futurist Conference at the New School, Berkeley Museum of Art and Pacific Film Archive, SF Weekly.Month of February 2021
We are featuring the historical Black Art Collective “AfriCOBRA” aka The African Commune of Bad Relevant Artists. The collective initially called themselves “COBRA” but as the awareness of their identity as Black people developed they affirmed their African heritage by adapting their name to “AfriCobra.”
A defining collective within the “The Black Arts Movement” AfriCOBRA was birthed from the South Side of Chicago in 1968, AfriCobra was sometimes referred to as the “Black Panthers of Art '' because of their willingness to create a reality outside of the one that attempted to oppress Black people.
Month of February 2021
INTO•ME•I•SEE features a man whose artistic journey consistently reflects the exact time and place of his life journey. His work as a musician, MC and leader of the collective Sol Develop offers a deep reflection into the human experience.
Karega Bailey is an angel parent, a social-emotional healing practitioner, and an award-winning educator and recording artist. He is a nationally renowned Peace Advocate and the Founding Dean of Culture of Roses in Concrete Community School in Oakland, CA. He is the author of SOL Affirmations and co-founder and lead facilitator for BE-Imaginative, a transformative safe space lead by a collective of artists and activists dedicated to disrupting gun violence and healing Black and Brown communities through innovative multi-dimensional storytelling
Find the mind space to be still as your journey deeper into yourself by way of his art and life.Month of February 2021
INTO•ME•I•SEE features San Diego born and bred Soul singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Geminelle, where music and healing are one in the same. “I hope my music creates a space for others to be able to look at themselves with compassion and deep acceptance,” she shares. “I want people to feel comfortable with where they’re at in their journey.”
In what she describes as her “most successful and straightforward project yet,” the Mantra Loops album and ongoing virtual meditation series elevates the universal teachings and affirmations that have always been embedded in Geminelle’s music. “This is specifically designed for us to heal and to grow,” she says of Mantra Loops.
Month of February 2021
Collectives are a staple within Black art traditions and they exist in many forms and in different genres of expression. Even in Hip Hop we see mobilization of collectives, (i.e. Wu-Tang, Roc-A-Fella, Odd Future, The Dungeon Family, Woodworks). For generations artists have teamed up to accelerate career growth, solve community issues, and elevate one another's craft.
Today we feature an art collective that has stood the test of time, “Spiral” (Arts Alliance), was a New York–based collective of African-American artists that came together in the 1960s to discuss their relationship to the Civil Rights Movement and the shifting landscape of American art, culture and politics. The group included artists Charles Alston, Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, Calvin Douglass, Perry Ferguson, Reginald Gammon, Felrath Hines, Alvin Hollingsworth, Norman Lewis, Earl Miller, William Majors, Richard Mayhew, Merton D. Simpson.”
(Credit: Studio Museum of Harlem)Month of February 2021
INTO•ME•I•SEE features Leon Goodrum, also known as Leon St. Heron. Leon is an Artist, Musician, Poet, and Father based in San Diego, California. His artistic journey began in the early 2000’s with Hip Hop as a rapper then found his place in the world of design by creating show flyers and merchandise. Leon’s desire to create artist merchandise turned into a clothing brand and design studio called Heron Hues.
“I often pull inspiration from content I think should be recirculated or reworked, I like to think of myself as a visual beatsmith, chopping and rearranging imagery that sparks my interest.”
We’ll focus on his brand Heron Hues, and explore the themes that serve as the undercurrent of his artistry.Month of February 2021
INTO•ME•I•SEE’s week 2 feature is Ashley Matthews, Brand Stylist, Web Designer and Founder of Dynasty Media. She has a passion for creative collaboration and 10+ years of experience in the field of design. Ashley works with clients to build cohesive brands and strategic websites through high-quality purposeful design.
Ashley is an artist who uses her craft to translate the mission of a brand into visuals that help her clients communicate with those they desire to impact. Digital Design is her tool of choice, but her artistry embodies her ability to translate the soul of a client into a visual we can all feel.Month of February 2021
“INTO•ME•I•SEE" honors the work and guidance of “The Black Arts Movement” (BAM), known as the spirit and sister to the Black Power Movements of the 1960’s and 70’s. BAM is a collective of Black Artists, mostly writers and poets, who created with the intention of uniting and uplifting Black people globally. The founders of BAM are Amira Baraka & Larry Neal. The Black Arts Movement spawned artist and writers such as Maya Angelou, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni, & Gwendolyn Brooks to name a few.
The movement was so extensive and impactful there’s no way we could cover it all but we urge you to begin your research today.Month of February 2021
"INTO•ME•I•SEE" featured artist is Laurent Chevalie living and working in New York City, Laurent Chevalier utilizes photography to shift the frameworks of representative imagery. Using processes and media from the past, Laurent archives for the future while simultaneously engaging contemporary social issues and promoting Social Justice.
Not solely a documentary nor conceptual photographer, Laurent Chevalier navigates the space that borders these genres. His practice is a synthesis of the known and unknown, considering the tension around the meaning of photographic expression.
Laurent's images seek dialogue through past, present and future, while continuously contributing new perspectives of Black America and the African Diaspora into the Canon.
Month of February 2021
"INTO•ME•I•SEE" is kicking things off with our first artist, Jazmine Hayes. Jazmine is an interdisciplinary artist born, raised, and based in Brooklyn, New York. She received an MFA from CUNY Hunter College and a BFA from CUNY Queens College. Her practice explores erased histories of the African diaspora and the ways they are preserved and reproduced through cultural traditions.
Through this exploration, Hayes works across various mediums as forms of research such as installation, painting, drawing, performance, video, sound and writing. Recently, Hayes has been featured in Art Forum, Interview Magazine and Artnet. For over 9 years, she has worked with community-based youth organizations across New York City as an educator and muralist with non-profits such as Groundswell Mural, Artistic Noise, Made in Brownsville, LES Girls Club and so on. In her social and community work, Hayes is passionate about providing youth of color with resources in the arts.
Month of February 2021
B L A C and TunnelVision Creative Agency teamed together to bring you a series a called, Into-Me-I-See. “Intimacy” is a month-long digital activation, launching during Black History Month. Each week of Black History Month, 2 Black Artists will be featured (8 Artists Total). The feature will spotlight a piece or a body of work and its intention. At the end of each week, we will pair two artists together for a conversation that unpacks their psyche, motivation, and process to become liberated.
To bridge a connection to the artists that created before us, we will be showcasing a historical Black Artist Collective each week. Encouraging our audience to seek deeper into their roots and understand the foundation of Black Expression.
Simultaneously, we want to be apart of the healing and growth of our followers. We will be providing raffles each week for the chance to win free Passion Planners.