The Future is (Black) Femme is a new exhibition at ATYPE, a creative hub and popular event space in the Lower East Side. It was curated by photographers Jessica Pettway, Josette Roberts, and Miranda Barnes, who sought to celebrate the visual identity of brilliant black femmes. The show represents multiple mediums, from Francena Ottley’s natural portraits to Jade Purple Browns’ colorful silhouettes. All of the artists who are featured express their unique experiences within the African diaspora. Every piece in the exhibition connects on some level, whether it be through similar themes of kinship, tenderness, or celebration. The exhibition helped to connect these black femme artists, as well as put their works in a concentrated and collaborative space.
One of the platforms that played an important role in connecting these artists was Instagram. Miranda Barnes and Jessica Pettway, two of the curators of the exhibit, had been following a few of the artists on Instagram, including Jade Purple Brown and Makeda Sandford. When the curators came up with this concept, they were quickly able to think of artists to reach out to— artists who they admired and appreciated via Instagram for quite some time. By connecting these artists, and creating this exhibition, the black femme community was able to come together. This community is one that is often appropriated in American culture, and to have art that comes directly from black femme artists is a vital step forward in gaining more authentic representation in mainstream art and media.
The main intention of this show was to celebrate black femme artists, as well as give them a platform so they could be properly recognized and appreciated in the artistic community. Based on critics reviews, they definitely succeeded in this effort.
The exhibtion is open until October 3rd, 2017 from 6:30pm-9:30pm at ATYPE in the Lower East Side.
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