On Friday, December 16th at 5 pm the NAGB will hold an Artists’ Talk with participating artists April Bey, Tamika Galanis, Steven Schmid, Charlotte Henay and Giovanna Swaby with a unique performance by Jodi Minnis. The artists will focus on the role that activism, imagination, the evolution of the Caribbean digital along with gender constructs as it relates to personal development, process, purpose, and play.
The conversation will be preceded by a unique performance by Jodi Minnis whose work challenges the way that the black female body is read in space and the social mores and constructs that delineate certain freedoms.
April Bey grew up in the Caribbean (Nassau, Bahamas) and now resides and works in Los Angeles, CA. Bey’s work is interdisciplinary and varies based on its content. The work is an introspective and social critique of American and Bahamian popular culture, immigration, contemporary pop culture feminism and race. She received her BFA in drawing in 2009 from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana studying closely with award winning professor and artist John P. Gee. She received her MFA in painting in 2014 at California State University, Northridge in Los Angeles mentored by award winning and accomplished painter and professor Samantha Fields. Bey travels extensively to collect data for her work having just completed a month-long artist residency in Ghana, West Africa. She plans to continue her travels and research this summer, 2017 back to West Africa visiting Senegal, The Gambia, Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana tracing the wax fabric smuggling ring. Bey is both a practicing contemporary artist and art educator having taught a controversial course at Art Center College of Design called Pretty Hurts analyzing process-based art and Beyoncé hashtag faux feminism. Bey is currently a full professor of art at Glendale Community College.
Tamika Galanis is a visual artist and native of Nassau, Bahamas whose work addresses diasporic-‐disconnect by examining issues of home, culture, identity, and performance. Emphasizing the importance of Afro-‐Bahamian cultural identity for cultural preservation, her work documents the aspects of Bahamian life, which are not curated for tourist consumption. Through multimedia storytelling, she employs photography, installation, new media, and film as documentary means to counter the widely held paradisiacal view of the Caribbean, the origins of which arose post-‐emancipation through a controlled, systematic visual framing and commodification of the tropics. Tamika earned a Master of Fine Arts in Documentary and Experimental Arts from Duke University and she teaches photography at the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, NC.
Charlotte Henay is a mother, teacher, storyteller, and researcher. She works to counter extinction myths through story work, and relationships of imagining. Charlotte writes about cultural memory and grandmothers’ gardens, as an activist for Afro-Indigenous futurities. She has a background in critical race theory and being exiled. Her work has been published in Feral Feminisms; Decolonization, Indigeneity, Education and Society, and is forthcoming in a Demeter Press anthology, Mothers, and Daughters. Charlotte’s visual artwork has been shown at FAC: Toronto’s Feminist Art Conference, York University’s Crossroads Gallery and 416 Gallery for MIXEDArtTO. Charlotte has been a teacher, administrator and consultant in First Nations, mainstream and international education contexts, and co-founded Nusdeh Yoh, BC’s first Aboriginal Choice School. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Comparative Perspectives and Cultural Boundaries, at York University.
Jodi Minnis obtained an Associates of Arts: Fine Arts from the College of The Bahamas in July 2015. Since then, Minnis has worked as the Assistant Curator of the Central Bank of The Bahamas Art Gallery, Gallery Assistant at the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and as the Festival Assistant of the Bahamas International Film Festival. Although Minnis notes herself as an interdisciplinary artist, she is also keen on developing her curatorial practice. She has also been nominated for the National Youth Award and Bahamian Icon Award.
Steven Schmid began a formal art education at The College of The Bahamas, graduating with a BFA in Film/Video + Integrated Media at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2016. Schmid’s installations, incorporating elements of drawing, digital printing, collage, sound and video, have been exhibited in several galleries throughout New Providence including Doongalik Studios, The Central Bank of The Bahamas and The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and internationally at Galerie Ernst Hilger in Vienna, Austria. His work utilises aesthetic and conceptual juxtapositions to morph personal narratives into allegories that encompass themes of nostalgia, hyper-masculinity, anthropomorphism, religion, science, the abject and in turn, their oppositions. He is the recipient of several awards including the 2012 Popopstudios International Centre for the Visual Arts Junior Residency Prize, 2013 Lyford Cay Undergraduate Scholarship and the 2016 Sophie Burnett Memorial Award.
Giovanna Swaby is a mixed media artist whose practice encompasses installation, textiles, collage,performance, and video. Swaby was born and raised in Nassau, Bahamas where she obtained her Associate's degree in Fine Art from The College of The Bahamas in 2012. In 2013, she moved to Vancouver, British Columbia to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree majoring in Film, Video and Integrated Media at Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Swaby completed the program in 2016and is currently based in Vancouver. Her work has been featured in several international institutions,including spaces in The Bahamas, Canada, China, Austria, Italy and The United States.