A black and white image of the American playwright, Ntozake Shange, is centered on the bottom on the canvas. Behind her are beaming rays of the Pan-African flag colors (black, yellow, red and orange).
Ntozake, Rico Gatson (b. 1966), 2020.

Family Day: Black Resistance

In 1976, the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)–co-founded by American historian Carter G. Woodson in 1915–championed the widespread acknowledgment of February as Black History Month. Since 1928, the ASALH has named a theme; in 2023, that theme is Black Resistance.

Per the ASALH, resistance by Black people has led to great achievements: “triumphs, successes, and progress.” This has been demonstrated in various ways: from the passing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, to the dismantling of Jim Crow segregation, to an increased media representation of Black experiences. “Black resistance strategies have served as a model for every other social movement in the country, thus, the legacy and importance of these actions cannot be understated.”

Join Mia on Sunday, February 12th, for a day honoring Black Resistance.

About the Artists

Alexandra Beaumont

Alexandra Beaumont is a textile artist and dancer. She was born and raised in South Carolina to a Jamaican father and American mother, both working musicians. She attended the residential South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities throughout high school, focusing on dance and visual arts, and went on to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where she studied fashion design. After working in New York City as a menswear designer, she returned to a fine arts practice, incorporating her love for fabrics and hand sewing. She now lives in Minneapolis, MN, where she makes work centering themes of personal reconstruction, community, and celebratory display. Her first solo exhibition “Version” was presented at Ridgewater College in Minnesota in the fall of 2022. She is a 2022 recipient of the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council “Next Step Fund” grant, and a 2023 Forecast Early Career Project grantee. She is a member of PF Studios in Minneapolis, MN and contributes to the development team of Public Functionary, a gallery, performance space, and café supporting BIPOC and LGBTQ artists in the Twin Cities.

Find more at: https://www.alexandrabeaumont.com/

Leon Valencia Currie

Leon Valencia Currie is a multimedia artist based in Minneapolis. Their work examines being
both a battleground and a sanctuary. The vulnerable and restless body is a starting point.
Collaging with film photography, and drawing on cardboard, resin, textiles, cardstock, printer,
notebook, and tracing paper, Currie activates the physical and the tactile qualities of
contradictory conditions. Growing up they struggled to find ways to relate to their peers as well
as to themself. Through photography, Currie is able to connect with their subjects which
requires also being tuned into themself through self-portraiture.

Their practice is both meditative and cathartic. An important aspect of their physical and
conceptual process is to slow down time. This allows Currie to develop visual conundrums and
excavate difficult emotions such as pain, sorrow, loneliness, loss, obsession, and desire.
Through making both large-scale and intimate collections of photographic and hand-drawn
images, Currie works with the uncomfortable process of self-exploration and self-identification.
Symbols of nature ground their work, reconnecting each piece to the land that they occupy.
Reconnecting with nature and finding abandoned, derelict settings creates space for loneliness
and loss. The disintegration they contain is a small reminder of both degradation and possibility.

Find more work on their Instagram, @leoncurrie.

Alexandra Beaumont and Leon Currie’s Family Day project explores the connection between
music and art.

“Walking through the galleries, we talked about how some of the Black artists we admire draw
inspiration from music, both in process and in depiction. This was echoed in a couple of works
we looked at together – the exuberantly colorful James Phillips ode to John Coltrane, the
Beauford Delaney piece [Untitled, 1947]. We also considered other Black artists’ innovative use
of materials and layering – Sonia Clark, Sanford Biggers, Kara Walker.”

Participants will explore motifs and patterns as mixed media collaborations come to life
alongside a playlist curated by the artists. Follow the playlist here:

Lissa Karpeh

Lissa Karpeh is a Liberian-American artist whose work is informed by the double-consciousness of the human experience, childhood, and her Liberian culture. Karpeh’s newest works explore the intimacies of existing and human strivings for connection and belonging. She explores these topics through figurative abstract paintings and drawings.

Karpeh’s Family Day project, titled “Here and Now,” invites families to explore the past, present and hopeful future of social justice, diversity, and belonging, while paying homage to African-American collage artist Romare Bearden.

See more of Karpeh’s work in Mia’s 2021 Virtual Exhibition “Breaking the Silence: International Women’s Day.”

Taylan De Johnette

Taylan De Johnette is a Minneapolis based Designer and Visual artist from Southern California. In 2019 she Graduated with her BFA in Visual Design from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She was previously a member of the inaugural cohort of Studio #400 and Public Functionary studios (#285) in the Northrup King building. She is a 2020-2021 PLACES: Research and Design Fellow, as well as the 2021 recipient of the Forecast: Early career and Research Grant award. Taylan recently lead the Graphic Design studio at Juxtaposition arts in North Minneapolis.

Taylan is passionate about the socially innovative side of Art and Design. She loves storytelling,
translating experiences, and showcasing alternative perspectives. Her favorite quote is by Social Entrepreneur and equity Designer, Antionette Carol: “What many designers don’t realize is that they have the power to truly create change…we have the power to develop approaches around systematic impact, from micro-campaigns to macro policy changes. Our mode of being moves beyond visual to intellectual and actionable.”

For Family Day, Taylan has designed 15 coloring sheets featuring Black artists in and out of Mia’s collection. Images will be available for download after the event.

Find more at: https://tdejohnette.com/

Family Day Major Sponsor:

Ntozake, Rico Gatson (b. 1966), 2020.