In the Duke Gallery: Diaspora DNA

In the Duke Gallery: Diaspora DNA

In the Duke Gallery: Diaspora DNA

March 12 to April 16

Participating Artists:

Imani Warren : (Photography – Miami, FL)
Steven CW Taylor : (Photography –Philadelphia, PA)
Karina Puente: (Fiber Arts – Philadelphia, PA)
DeJeonge Reese: (Photography & Textiles – Philadelphia, PA)
Miguel Valdes Amaro : (Photography – New York, NY)
Andromeda Cooks: (Painting – Philadelphia, PA)
Eva Ngono: (Painting –  Minneapolis, MN)
Nikki Brooks: (Painting – Washington, DC)
Quimetta Pearle: (Bead + Fibers – Brooklyn NY)
Tiara Yvette McKnight : (Painting – Waldorf, MD)
Ibrahima Faye: (Painting – Philadelphia, PA)
Tracy Barwick (Bead + Fibers – Washington, DC)

About the Curator:

Monica O. Montgomery believes art and museums must be in service to society! She is a social justice independent curator  who previously served as Curator of Social Justice and Programming for the FUTURES exhibit at the Smithsonian Arts & Industries celebrating the Smithsonian’s 175th Anniversary.

She has worked in the museum sector for over a decade, directing institutions, producing programs, training teams and engaging communities around art, education and inclusion. She has curated 40+ social justice and public history exhibits with renowned organizations like the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the South African Embassy, Brooklyn Museum, Portland Art Museum, T Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, Weeksville Heritage Center, Teachers College, The Highline and more.

Monica is a professor teaching graduate courses around Museums and Community Engagement at renowned institutions like: Georgetown University, University of the Arts, Johns Hopkins University, Harvard University, American University, Pratt Institute and NYU. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Broadcast Communication from Temple University and Masters of Arts in Corporate Communication from LaSalle University. She was a 2019 Oxford Cultural Leaders Fellow at Oxford University, UK

Diaspora DNA Curatorial Statement:

Diaspora DNA is a reflective look at how we crowdsource the brilliance of our black and brown diaspora through a lens of travel; a rich, multifaceted culture, revived and revered among us and upon us. Journey through the expressions of the featured artists as you experience a reminiscence of voyages taken and imagined.

As the world resumes travel domestic and international, we are reminded of our common threads, between us and before us. We are prone to seeking out travel as a way to change our scenery. Travel connects us to culture, commerce, foodways, textiles, ceremony and mother tongues that differ from our own. A deeper look, at the cellular level might consider:

  • What can we learn during and after our travels?
  • Where can we remain connected to our inspiration and respite found during our travels?
  • Why does the domestic sometimes feel foreign?
  • How can a myriad of places and destinations transform us and enrich us?

Diaspora DNA features a range of mid-career artists whose roots run deep, working in multidisciplinary artistic mediums (photography, painting, fiber arts, illustration and textiles. These artists are making work that explores the paths we travel, the trails we blaze, and the echoes of story, myth, lore and legend that permeate our lineage, inhabit our heritage and imprint upon our travels from hometowns thru the global south. Through leisure, lived experiences and migrations, the Diaspora is highlighted and celebrated. From America to Africa, Cuba across the Caribbean, Latin America to Oceania; We are the legacies of our ancestors, the beliefs of our birthright, finding synergies along the contours of our shared humanity.  Our wisdom, our memories and our histories bear witness to the presence of the ancients, the modern and the fusion sparked from movements of the people.