Creative Community Care
“Creative Community Care: Artists Respond to Pandemic Times” is an interactive group exhibit exploring concerns and questions arising from COVID-19 and racial violence at the intersection of the arts, learning, faith, and the city. Eight artists adapted their creative practices to process their own experiences with grief and memory, relationships as neighbors and friends, and roles as parents and caregivers. Their works invite us to consider the relevance of the arts for healing and dream of new ways we might care for our communities.
This exhibit is part of City Seminary of New York’s Ministry in the City HUB, a national network that supports the flourishing of pastors, ministry leaders, artists, congregations, faith-based organizations, and theological education focused on cities.
Curated by Maria Liu Wong and Sarah Gerth van den Berg
Thanks to Lilly Endowment Inc. for making this possible.
March 1, 2024 Friday, 6-8 PM
Drop in to celebrate the opening of our exhibit and hear from two of the featured artists! Light refreshments will be served. RSVP to email@example.com if you’re coming!
March 2, 2024 Saturday, 5-10 PM
Stop by as part of Downtown Santa Ana’s First Saturday ArtWalk! We look forward to participating in this exciting event with many other local galleries.
March 2, 2024 Saturday, 1-5 PM
March 3, 2024 Sunday, 1-5 PM
Santora Arts Building
207 N Broadway, Suite L
Santa Ana, CA 92701
March 2, Saturday, 2-3:30 PM
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org by Feb 29
March 3, Sunday, 1-2:30 PM
RSVP to email@example.com by Feb 29
DIA has studied art in Athens, Greece, Guadalajara, Mexico, and Nairobi, Kenya. He earned a BS in Communication and Sociology with a minor in Photography from Appalachian State University, a MA in Literature from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a MDiv and DMin from Union Presbyterian Seminary. His artistic influences include ethno-gothic literature, comic books, graphic novels, and neo-Appalachian art. He is the recipient of awards and fellowships from Cave Canem, The Watering Hole, Hurston/Wright Foundation, the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture. DIA is the Community Relations Manager of Goodyear Arts based in Charlotte, NC. For more information, visit www.dia1518.com.
“Black Wall Street Door,” featured in this exhibition, is one of those doors, painted by neighbor Jamahl Crouch. Chimes formed into the shapes of the gifts of people who live in that house decorate the yard. The next house has a front yard full of flowers, and the next house has a backyard growing over a hundred pounds of peanuts. A bicycle shop, begun at his encouragement, asks young people riding by if they want to fix the bicycles themselves (and even sell some). In the next yard, a neighbor hosts a party with homemade wine. Every avenue offers a festival with plates of food from neighborhood cooks. Photos of parents teaching their children art, math, music, and history adorn the outdoor walls of the building facing the school building in their neighborhood. De’Amon’s art is not that he did these things. All he did was make the invisible, visible.
Alysia Nicole Harris
Harris serves as executive director of Meetinghouse Revival, an organization that preserves Black history by restoring Black churches. She is currently gestating her first full-length book aimed at building solidarity between Biblically conservative disciples of Jesus and radical organizers for social justice. Learn more about Harris’ work at www.alysiaharris.com.
In this installation, poet and Meetinghouse Revival founder Alysia Nicole Harris frames the group’s work to restore the abandoned Wesley Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. This CME congregation was one of several Black churches in Corsicana dating back to the Reconstruction and post-Reconstruction era. Using a mixture of oral interviews, archival material, and personal poetic reflections on the restoration process, Harris platforms the stories of Wesley Chapel, past and present. She hopes this installation sheds light on the many Black place-keeping efforts happening across Texas.
During her research, Harris scoured the online records of local newspapers such as the Corsicana Daily Sun, Oil City Afro-American, and Dallas Express for any mention of the church. From these mentions, she creates blackout poems to enact on the public archive the same intentional erasures and omissions enacted on Black Corsicanans. However, this time, the blackout poems work in service of Black residents to reveal layered truths about life in rural Texas. These texts are arranged into identical 12 x 16 frames and then positioned among contemporary and archival photos of the building to create a grid of historical fragments that mirrors the church’s broken stained glass. While the picture remains incomplete, glimpses of the past come into view.
Kuo received an MFA in Studio Art (Social Practice Queens) at City University of NY, Queens College. Her artwork has been exhibited at Queens Museum of Art (NY), Queens Public Library (NY), Houston City Hall (TX), the Houston Climate Justice Museum (TX), and more. In 2023, her work was supported by The Idea Fund, and she was an Artists on Site resident at the Asia Society Texas Center. She has also worked as a teaching artist, muralist, and community arts facilitator. For more information, visit www.naomikuoart.com.
Lah is typically drawn to building her work using commonplace materials. She invites a behavioral reorientation to the material and to the context that her work inhabits, thereby bringing into focus new connections within a setting. Her work suggests a new perceptual understanding to encourage a critical adjustment to the familiarity of our surroundings.
Through her works, Lah wants to explore the notion of reality. How is the understanding of time and the everyday constructed through individual perception? She is ultimately attempting to create a new language about the nature of existence, and engage with the idea of a transcendence that points to a truer response within ambiguity over a precarious nature of what is considered as absolute. For more information, visit www.olgalah.com.
In its visual form “The Constellation Project” is a wall piece (5’x8’) constructed from aluminum mesh with mixed media applied to the surface. Names of those who have passed on in death or otherwise are written onto areas of the work. These include names shared by the original five participants that started this project. And also present names submitted online by the public. These names and accompanying stories are posted on www.olgalah.com/the-constellation-project.
“The Constellation Project” is a work that holds the gathered memories of a community. It makes meaning of the life remembered as well as the life of the one sharing the remembrance. In recalling and reflecting on the past it supports a movement forward into healing. The hope is that it points to the inter-connectedness of our lives and the brief wonder that we experience together in a lifetime.
Originally from England, UK, Lawrence studied Floral Design at the University of the Arts in London. In 2009, she began experimenting with crochet and found inspiration in ‘yarn bombing.’ Her first work, Blue Iris, in 2014 endeared her to the East Harlem community that she now calls home. Lawrence has been creating floral and nature inspired installations ever since. Awards from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and UMEZ (Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone) have allowed her to expand her practice to include large scale murals and to hire women from the neighborhood, recognizing their skills as multi-generational artisans. For more information, visit www.naomilawrence.com.
Julian Davis Reid
I pray that this video helps you attend to your own need for rest, as well as to the needs of those around you (fellow humans as well as the rest of creation). God promises us an eternity of rest in Jesus, so for now, in the here and not yet, let us practice receiving and sharing the notes.
Sophia (Dawson) Victor
Sophia holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the School of Visual Arts, and a masters degree in visual arts administration from New York University. She is pursuing a masters degree in art therapy from the School of Visual Arts. Her work has been exhibited in the Bronx Museum for the Arts as well as the 2020 US Open. She is a recent participant of the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study program and the Bronx Museum of Art’s artist residency program. She was a 2020 PAIR Artist fellow working with the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. She facilitated art workshops as a teaching artist and a volunteer at Rikers Island from 2018 to 2023 and is a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts. In 2020, Sophia was one of three artists selected to design the “Black Lives Matter” street mural for Foley Square in New York City. Her work has been featured in Forbes Magazine, on New York 1, ABC Nightline, the Guardian and BBC News. For more information, visit www.sophia-dawson.com.
When I went before the Lord concerning my marriage, I prayed from many different angles. When I began to grow weary, finally I reminded the Lord of the covenant that I have with him concerning my son Pharaoh. I stood on that covenant and interceded. My prayer was, “Lord, this child needs a kingdom father so that he can grow in your ways. I have given you full custody of him, now provide someone that will stand for him and guide him in this thing called life.” That prayer was answered and continues to be answered through the life of my husband.
During the year when the world shut down, so many changes occurred. I watched my son grow from a child into an adolescent before my eyes. He began to navigate art materials as an outlet to maintain his peace. My biological family grew closer than ever as we attempted to be a village raising four boys, my mother’s grandsons. My son’s biological father was also incarcerated during this time. I reflect in this piece on the community needed to raise a child and the new personal community of a new family that the Lord has given me. It is a reminder of the seeds sown at different stages in early childhood development and stands on the biblical instruction to train up a child in the way he should go.