the CONVENING

This year Art on the Vine introduces what is simply called The Convening. A day inspired by the fair’s theme “Implicit, By Us” will feature conversations, presentations and reflections by Black women who create, critique, live, love, laugh and protect an important nexus where Blackness, identity and creativity meet. 

Featuring a stellar mix of artists, scholars, curators and happenmakers, this year’s, the first-ever, AOTV Convening will hold space and give space for Black women’s scholarship to be seen, their voices to be heard, and their lived experiences to uplift all who bear witness.

Monday, August 12 10 am – 6 pm
Whaling Church, 89 Main Street, Edgartown

 
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Adrienne L. Childs is an art historian, curator and an associate of The Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. Her work engages the race and representation in European and American fine and decorative arts from the 18th century to the present. She is currently guest curator of the upcomingRiffs and Relations: African American Artists and the European Modernist Tradition at The Phillips Collection in Washington DC.

Niama Safia Sandy is a New York-based cultural anthropologist, curator, musician and essayist. She believes that we personify the wildest dreams and joys of our ancestors. Simply put, this is the core mandate of her work. Niama’s curatorial practice delves into the human story - through the application and critical lenses of culture, healing, history, migration, music, race and ritual. She sees her role as that of an agitator - one who endeavors to simultaneously call into question and make sense of the seemingly arbitrary nature of modern life and to celebrate our shared humanity in the process. Sandy is fascinated by the ways in which history, economics, migration and other social forces and constructs have shaped culture and identity. Her aim is to leverage history, the visual, written and performative arts - chiefly those of the Global Black Diaspora - to tell stories we know in ways we have not yet thought to tell them and to lift us all to a higher state of historical, ontological and spiritual wholeness in the process. 

Her curatorial oeuvre includes exhibition and performance projects spanning multiple media; including The Circle of Trust, Refraction: New Photography of Africa and Its Diaspora, and others. She is a founding curator of the Southeast Queens Biennial which debuted in 2018. Her curatorial oeuvre includes multiple ongoing exhibition projects with internationally renowned art institutions. Niama has convened programs, panels, led discussions, and presented papers at Museum of the City of New York, Prizm Art Fair, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Creative Time Summit, Harvard University, Oberlin College, and Rhode Island School of Design. Sandy’s writing has been featured in Artsy, MFON: Women Photographers of the Black Diaspora, NAD NOW, and more. She is a member of the Resistance Revival Chorus. Niama is an alumna of Howard University, SOAS, University of London, and the No Longer Empty Curatorial Lab.

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Wanda Raimundi-Ortiz is an internationally recognized artist and associate professor at University of Central Florida.  Honors include: 2018 UCF Research Incentive Award, 2017 UCF Luminary Award; 2016 Franklin Furnace Grant for performance;  2015 Orlando Museum of Art Florida Prize in Contemporary Art finalist; Exhibitions include Identify: Performance as Portraiture, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery; Project 35: Last Call, Garage Museum, Moscow, Russia; Manifesta 8, Murcia, Spain 2010; Performa 05 Biennial, Artist Space, NY 2005; The S Files, El Museo Del Barrio 2005 and The L Factor, Exit Art, New York, 2004 .

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Elia Alba has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, those include the Studio Museum in Harlem, Perez Museum of Art Miami, Smithsonian Museum of Art, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; The Science Museum, London; National Museum of Art, Reina Sofía, Madrid, 10th Havana Biennial.   Awards include, Studio Museum in Harlem Artist-in Residence Program in 1999, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in 2001, Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant 2002 and collections include Smithsonian Museum of Art, El Museo del Barrio, Lowe Art Museum. Her book Elia Alba The Supper Club produced by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation, published by Hirmer June 2019 was critically acclaimed by The New York Times.

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Omolara Williams McCallister is a interdisciplinary artist and cultural organizer working primarily in sculpture, performance and installation. O's work resituates traditional Afro-diasporic head adornment practices within the western sculptural canon and explores adornment of bodies and spaces as ritual of reclamation of spaces.

Holly Bass is a multidisciplinary performance and visual artist, writer, and director. Her work has been presented at spaces such as the Kennedy Center, the Smithsonian Museums, the Seattle Art Museum, Art Basel Miami Beach (Project Miami Fair) and the South African State Theatre. Her visual art work spans photography, installation, video, and performance and can be found in the collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the DC Art Bank, as well as private collections. A Cave Canem fellow, she has published poems in numerous journals and anthologies. She studied modern dance (under Viola Farber) and creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College before earning her Master’s from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism. As an arts journalist early in her career, she was the first to put the term “hip hop theater” into print in American Theatre magazine. She has received numerous grants from the DC Arts Commission and is a 2019 Red Bull Detroit artist-in-residence and a 2019 Dance/USA Artist Fellow. A gifted and dedicated teaching artist, for four years she directed a year-round creative writing and performance program for adjudicated youth in DC’s Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services as well as facilitating workshops nationally and internationally. She is currently the national director for Turnaround Arts at the Kennedy Center, a program which uses the arts strategically to transform schools facing severe inequities.

Zoë Charlton creates drawings that explore the ironies of contemporary social and cultural stereotypes. She received her MFA degree from the University of Texas at Austin and participated in residencies at Artpace Residency (TX), Ucross Foundation (WY), McColl Center for Art + Innovation (NC), the Skowhegan School of Painting (ME), and the Patterson Residency at the Creative Alliance (MD). Her work has been included in national and international exhibitions including The Delaware Contemporary (DE), the Harvey B. Gantt Center (NC), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (AR), Studio Museum of Harlem (NY), Contemporary Art Museum (TX), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art (Poland), and Haas & Fischer Gallery (Switzerland).  She is a recipient of a Pollock-Krasner grant (2012), a Rubys grant (2014), and was a finalist for the 2015 Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize.  She is the co-founder of ‘sindikit, an artist project space in Baltimore, MD and holds a seat on the Maryland State Arts Council.  Charlton is an Associate Professor in the Department of Art at American University in Washington, DC.

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Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., a trained art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity and access, Jeffreen has developed a curatorial and leadership approach that invites community participation. As the Executive Director of Threewalls, a position she has held since 2015, Jeffreen provides strategic vision for the artistic direction and impact of the organization in Chicago.

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Ikram Lakhdhar is an independent Tunisian Curator and Scholar. Her research-based exhibitions examine issues of race and the politics of colonial and oriental representation. Lakhdhar holds an M.A. in Arts Politics from NYU Tisch School of the Arts and a B.A. in Art History and Museum Studies from Connecticut College. She is the Founding Editor of DIRT, a platform for inclusive arts discourse, and the Communications and Network Manager at Common Field. Lakhdhar presented research at NYU, Goethe Institute in Johannesburg, the Jerusalem Fund, and others. Her writing has been published in journals including Arts.Black and BmoreArt. She has received international awards for her curatorial praxis most recently from the Getty Foundation, and the ICI Curatorial Intensive. 

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Ravon Ruffin is a DC-based museum practitioner, community arts organizer, public arts educator, and digital strategist. She strives to make art + culture accessible for and by women and communities of color, both online and IRL. She is the co-founder and community manager at Brown Art Ink, a nomadic incubator, and co-founder of Brown Girls Museum Blog.

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Haili Francis is a Harvard trained arts administrator, scholar, and museum professional with a specialty in African American art. Haili was appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington, DC to serve on the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities board and has worked with some of the world's premier cultural institutions, art collectors and contemporary artists.

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Theo Tyson interrogates sociocultural themes of race, gender, and sexuality through the lens of fashion, its histories, and theories in conversation with historical and contemporary photography. As a curator and lecturer, Tyson uses visual culture and accessible language to offer counternarratives of sartorial resistance. Tyson is currently the Polly Thayer Starr Fellow in American Art and Culture at the Boston Athenæum, one of the oldest and most distinguished independent libraries and cultural institutions in the United States. She seeks to reach beyond simply studying their collections to creating innovative programs and curating experiential exhibitions that engage new communities and reimagine Boston’s cultural landscape.

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Melani N. Douglass, NMWA’s Director of Public Programs, heads the groundbreaking Women, Arts and Social Change (WASC) initiative. At NMWA, Douglass is cultivating a network of artists, curators, collectors, journalists, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and influencers who understand the power of art to shape and transform society. Through long-range planning and strategic community engagement rooted in strong community partnerships, she is expanding the impact and reach of NMWA’s public program initiatives. Prior to her position at NMWA, Douglass founded the Family Arts Museum, a nomadic institution that celebrates and documents family as fine art. Douglass has over ten years of experience engaging communities through the arts. Douglass holds a Master of Fine Arts in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

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Whitney Hardy is the founder and executive director of Young Arts Patrons in Memphis, TN, her hometown. Her background is in entrepreneurship, accounting and audit controls, and market driven social innovation. Young Arts Patrons is a dynamic platform that is advancing contemporary ideas, conversations, and engagement around the fine arts in underestimated urban spaces. Through Young Arts Patrons she founded Young Collectors Contemporary, a leading national art marketplace and conference that attracts top emerging artists, curators, collectors, and critics. Additionally, Whitney Hardy is Director of Entrepreneurial Programs at Epicenter where she designs, prototypes, and launches new, innovative programs to support entrepreneurs, creatives, and community based businesses.

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Natalie Hopkinson, Ph.D., is an award-winning essayist and critical-cultural scholar. She is an assistant professor in the doctoral program in Howard University’s Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies, and a fellow of the Interactivity Foundation. Her work asks questions about cultural identity, cities and Diaspora, postcolonial history, gender, and media. She has been a columnist at the Huffington Post and a staff writer, editor and media/culture critic at The Washington Post and The Root. She earned an M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Maryland-College Park and her B.A. in political science from Howard University. Her most recent book, A Mouth is Always Muzzled (The New Press) was winner of the 2018 Independent Publisher’s Association “Spirit Award” and was longlisted for 2019 PEN America’s  Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Her 2012 book Go-Go Live (Duke University Press) was nominated for the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in nonfiction.

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A Womb of Violet Collective

fayemi shakur is a writer, cultural critic and Visiting Lecturer at Rutgers University-Newark. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Hyperallergic, CNN Style, VICE, and MFON: Women Photographers in the African Diaspora among other books and publications. She is a 2019 Feminist-in-Residence at Project for Empty Space and 2019 Critical Studies Artist-in-Residence at The Center for Photography at Woodstock.

Dr. Antoinette Ellis-Williams is Chair and Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies at New Jersey City University where she teaches: Women, Hip Hop Spoken Word & Social Change; Women & Leadership; Race, Class, Gender Activism; Diversity & Difference; Black Womanhood. Dr. Ellis-Williams is a mixed media artist, and poet.

tarah douglas is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice is primarily centered around photography, fiber works, and graphic explorations. tarah serves as gallery director at Project for Empty Space in Newark, NJ. She is pursuing her MFA in Photography at Yale University and she is a 2019 Artist-in-Residence at Stoneleaf.

Bimpé Fageyinbo is a Nigerian-American artist, a poet, photojournalist, and professor of journalism and creative writing at Rutgers University-Newark. She is the author of two books of poetry, "So Maybe That's the Bee's Weakness" (2010) and "What Was Me" (2017).

Jasmine Mans is an artist, author, performer, poet, and teacher. Jasmine received her BA in African-American Studies (Black Theory & Literature) from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and independently published her first book of poetry, "Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels" in 2012.

K. Desireé Milwood is a Brooklyn born Panamanian-American poet & the author of "Poems for My Namesake" released in 2016.  

Angela Pilgrim is a textile artist, printmaker, illustrator, and founding member of Black Women of Print. Angela fuses ’90s childhood influences with African-American pop culture and traditions, exploring Black female beauty through her expressive empowerment brand for women,  F r u i s h u n.

Jillian M Rock is a multidisciplinary artist and student of English Literature at Rutgers University-Newark. Her current work utilizes documentary photography and printmaking to explore issues surrounding the transition of life to death, addiction and homelessness.

 Jennifer Mack-Watkins is a printmaker, art educator, and is one of the founding members of the collective Black Women of Print. Jennifer Mack-Watkins received her BA in studio arts from Morris Brown College, MAT in Secondary Art Education from Tufts University, and MFA in Printmaking from Pratt Institute. Jennifer’s work investigates societal conformities that isolates individuals to be confined to fit into a space, challenging  identity, beauty images,  body image, power and gender roles.