ArtServe, a non-profit that supports artists committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, is presenting “Roots of the Spirit: Soulful Expressions of the African Diaspora” from Jan. 15 through Feb. 27, 2020, coinciding with Black History Month.
Under the artistic direction of Consulting Curator Ludlow E. Bailey, “Roots of the Spirit” is a multimedia exhibition and performance series exploring African customs and aesthetics – from ancient traditions to works produced exclusively for this show. A collaboration with The Miramar Cultural Trust further supplements the exhibition with “Imagine Puppets,” a national collection of handmade figures representing the post-slavery era of puppetry, created by contemporary African-American artists.
ArtServe Curator Sophie Bonet is also taking submissions from emerging South Florida artists interested in exhibiting their work. The submission deadline is Dec. 26.
“Surviving slavery meant tapping into the spirit side of ourselves, which has allowed us to endure a whole lot of pain and emerge strong, resilient and powerful,” says Bailey, managing director of Contemporary African Diaspora Art. “My motivation behind ‘Roots of the Spirit’ revolves around educating the whole community about the history of black people in the world. We’re living in a time where there’s a big misconception about where we were up to the 14th century. That’s when we started having a different status.”
Bailey is gathering some 25 visual and performing artists from Nigeria, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica and the U.S. – bold artists exploring themes such as ancestral memory, colonization, and climate gentrification. The group includes:
- ArtServe artist-in-residence George Gadson
- Fine artist and illustrator Zipporah Michel
- Interdisciplinary artist and dancer Hattie Mae Williams and opera singer Kunya Rowley
- Painter, sculptor and installation artist Asser Saint-Val
- Photographer Zeek Mathias
- Multidisciplinary artist and educator Morel Doucet
- Artist, author, and University of Texas Professor Moyo Okediji
“We’ve chosen to kick off 2020’s socially conscious season with a celebration of Africa, because that’s where the human story begins,” says ArtServe Executive Director Craig W. Johnson. “We are exploring not only the continent’s spiritual roots – but all of our roots. We are celebrating our shared origins and underscoring ArtServe’s commitment to unifying communities through the arts.”
Key Dates and Tickets:
“Roots of the Spirit” VIP Reception – Jan. 18 from 6 to 9 p.m.
The experience includes: open wine bar and vegan cuisine catered by Inika Foods; an exclusive performance of African dance, spirituals and opera; and tours of ArtServe’s creative laboratory, where artists experiment with concepts tied to social impact. Attendees will also participate in conversations about the latest cultural trends with three influencers that ArtServe is recognizing through its Broward County Arts & Culture Visionary Awards: Melissa Hunter Davis, founder and editor of Sugarcane Magazine, an online journal about art of Africa and the African Diaspora; Darius Daughtry, author of “And the Walls Came Tumbling: Unapologetically Speaking Truth to Power” and executive director of Art Prevails Project; and Miguel Pilgram, CEO of Pilgram Group, a development company revitalizing the Sistrunk area through jazz and art. For tickets, visit www.artserve.org.
“Roots of the Spirit” Community Reception – Feb. 1 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Celebrate the first day of Black History Month at ArtServe with the community reception for “Roots of the Spirit: Soulful Expressions of the African Diaspora.” Tickets are $20 each and include pizza, punch and art activities. Admission is free for members and children 12 and under. For tickets, visit www.artserve.org.
Fort Lauderdale-based ArtServe – one of the country’s first arts incubators – has a 30-year history of building Broward County communities through the arts. Each year its programs contribute tangibly to the region’s economy, help 2,000 artists sell their work and build businesses, and engage countless citizens who walk through the doors. ArtServe in 2020 will continue its transformation into a creative laboratory, a hub for experimental artists committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. ArtServe has won several awards for innovation in the arts. It is supported in part by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and Florida’s Department of State and the Division of Cultural Affairs. www.artserve.org
About Ludlow E. Bailey
Ludlow E. Bailey is managing director of Contemporary African Diaspora Art (CADA), one of the world’s leading brokers of rare, original, and one-of-a-kind works produced by contemporary African artists and artists of African descent throughout the world. CADA provides artists a platform to reach and teach new audiences through exhibitions, panel discussions, seminars, curricula, video, and film. Bailey provides curatorial advice to some of the most prestigious museums, galleries and private collections in London, New York, Paris, Chicago, Cape Town, Washington, D.C, Lagos, Accra, and the Caribbean. He has curated 55 visual art shows in the last decade. www.cada.us.
About The Miramar Cultural Trust
The Miramar Cultural Trust establishes relationships with strategic partners for the purpose of generating opportunities to increase visibility of the arts and extending its reach by attracting participants beyond the Miramar city limits. The Miramar Cultural Trust also provides annual financial support to the Miramar Cultural Center, and encourages, solicits, and administers gifts and funds for the advancement and long-term fiscal viability of the Miramar Cultural Center. It is committed to supporting projects and programs including scholarships for children to attend the Little Broadway Summer Camp at the Miramar Cultural Center. www.miramarculturaltrust.org