Black and Free: New Art features artists Beck Deresse, Ken Daley, Miss Coco Murray, Simone Patricia, Suritah Wignall, and Tafui. These Black, Ontario-based artists have been commissioned to create original work in the medium of their choice on the topic of blackness and freedom. Each artist’s work tells a unique story that explores the multifaceted experiences of Blackness and freedom through historic and contemporary lenses. Please join us in-person or online (with closed captions) for conversations featuring a different artist and their new artwork.
BECK DERESSE: February 1st 2023
Beck Deresse is an illustrator and designer based in Ottawa, Ontario. Their illustrations draw on personal experiences navigating the world as a black, nonbinary lesbian. As part of the Black and Free series, their exhibition piece Metamorphosis seeks to reconcile Blackness, gender and queerness through a series of narrative illustrations that follow their journey toward self-love and freedomMore about the project
For centuries Black people all over the world have used visual art, literature, performance, theatre, music and other means of expression to imagine and advocate for freedom in their everyday lives. Black And Free is an artistic and academic experience that deepens, enlivens and expresses themes of blackness and freedom projecting expansive visions of what that could be for engaged, curious and casual members of the public that was started by Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae in 2017. Keleta-Mae is the Canada Research Chair in Race, Gender and Performance, an Associate Professor at the University of Waterloo, Principal Investigator of Black and Free and a multi-disciplinary artist. Her Black and Free research-creation project brings together artists, academics, students and the following organizations: Citizen Brand; Ken Seiling Waterloo Region Museum; NOR: The design commons for Canada; Studio Otherness; TheEDGE; THEMUSEUM; Wilfrid Laurier University Press, and Young People’s Theatre.Together they are examining blackness and freedom through research and art. Black and Free: New Art is a partnership between Black And Free and THEMUSEUM with support from an Ontario Research Fund Research Excellence Grant.
Black And Free is an artistic and academic experience that deepens, enlivens and expresses themes of blackness and freedom projecting expansive visions of what that could be for engaged, curious and casual members of the public that was started by Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae in 2017.