I want to extend my time at Wonder'Neath Art Studio to be able to work on and prioritize my own art practice and professional development.
I have received funding for a 3 month artist residency at Wonder'Neath Art Studio (ending December 15). The funding secured the rent of the studio space and materials to do a few workshops.
Because I had to work at the same time externally in the community, I've mainly only been able to be at Wonder'Neath in a planning and implementation capacity.
My personal art practice has become stunted and nearly halted because of the tension between meeting the outcomes of the funding I received, while simultaneously supporting myself financially.
Why I need Studio Space:
I've never had access to an art space like this before, or access to such amazing resources and supplies. My experience of finally having a space of my own to occupy and create has been overwhelming in a positive way. There are many different mediums I want to explore, and different workshops I have ideas for that have generated from inspiration invoked from just having my own space for the first time. I aim to take advantage of all that Wonder'Neath has to offer; support in its rich resources, and support from experienced artists that occupy the studio.
I've built relationships with racialized youth who come into the space and I would like to continue to build and strengthen those relationships. There is a deep need to have a consistent meeting space for youth to drop-into if they need support, and my studio has organically become this as well.
I want to continue to offer space for BIPOC folx in the community, who normally feel intimidated by predominately white art spaces, to have creative space as well and closed workshops. My work encourages racialized youth to pursue art, and I aim to hone in on and strengthen the programming that I offer in our community when I am in this space as well.
It is very crucial for me to be able to spend my time at Wonder'Neath building my capacity over the winter months to be able to continue the work that has been asked of me by the communities I am part of, such as:
> Various Graphic facilitation visual tools and murals for my work with Brave Space
> Mentoring a youth who is creating an Afrocentric book to be used as an educational resource, in partnership with the Delmore Buddy Daye Institute and Halifax Regional School Board
> Creating visual learning tools for the Sustainability Leadership Certificate Program held by Co-Lab at Dalhousie
> Illustrating a book based on a poem by El Jones that celebrates young women in our city
> Illustrating images for an upcoming book that highlights the histories and realities of Black, Indigenous, and other racialized communities across Canada, starting with Black communities in Nova Scotia
> Researching and drafting a self-created Tarot card deck
> Even more projects!
My need for this creative space to do projects that have come my way has only grown during my current residency, and extending my time there feels crucial to me.
Being Queer and Black, as a visual artist means that I have faced barriers to pursuing a formal arts education. In the past two years, I have dedicated my time to gathering skills from other artists and facilitators to avoid the potential of feeling pressured to cater my art to a Eurocentric audience and standards. This is a real, tangible way that I can actually continue to expand my learning and exploration with support in a generative learning environment.
With this campaign, I am aiming to pay for 4 months of rent in this studio and supplies.
Rent at Wondern'eath Studio costs $250 / month.
Born in Yarmouth and now living in the North End of Halifax, Bria describes herself as a Queer, Black, Indigenous mixed media visual artist, activist and musician. She works as a graphic facilitator and a youth arts educator, leading workshops across Nova Scotia that encourage the honesty of those participating.
Bria believes in the importance of spaces where racialized and LGBTQ* artists can create together, find support and access to explore their self expression, and mould the platforms that allow their individual voices to be heard. She is working to organize a shared art space to center and amplify these beautiful and crucially important voices that often face erasure, whitewashing, or are outright neglected by our institutions and therefore society.
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