Ode to my Umi | Curated by Eshay Brantley

Ode to my Umi | Curated by Eshay Brantley

Please join White Bear Center for the Arts in celebrating Ode to my Umi, an exhibition curated by Eshay Brantley, a 2023-24 Fellow of Emerging Curators Institute (ECI).

As the culmination to her fellowship, Eshay envisions Ode to my Umi as a multidisciplinary exhibit that pays homage to Black grandmothers and mothers’ stories, revealing the intergenerational resilience and comfort passed along generation after generation. Artists featured in this exhibition include Namir Fearce, Bayou, Precious Wallace of King P. Studio, and Donte Collins, with performance art by Ashe Jaafaru. The exhibition takes place in the Ford Family Gallery.

For the Community Reception on July 11 and throughout the run of the exhibition, in alignment with Ode to my Umi, Emerging Curators Institute Director Barak adé Soleil offers a curatorial response with the presentation of global artist Iyabo Kwayana’s film work "Crossing Over" in the WBCA atrium.

ECI, founded in 2016, is dedicated to developing the unique practices of emerging curators in Minnesota, through collaborative research, professional growth, and presentation opportunities.

Ode to my Umi is curated by 2023-24 Emerging Curators Institute Fellow Eshay Brantley, with curatorial support by Sadie Woods, and presented by Emerging Curators Institute in partnership with White Bear Center for the Arts.

Community Reception:

Date/Time: July 11, 2024
 Thursday, 6:30-8:30 PM
Tuition: FREE with registration

ASL interpretation will be available. Masking is required in support of disabled and immunocompromised individuals. High quality masks will be distributed as needed. We welcome supporting access needs, and should you have particular questions or requests, let us know in the registration form below.

Check out the WBCA website to register for the reception

About the Curator:

Eshay Brantley (she/her), a multidisciplinary artist born in southside Chicago, moved to Minneapolis in 2004. Social justice advocate, teaching artist, and mother. Brantley’s artistic work commenced in a ritual-based performance. She is dedicated to nurturing the narratives of Black folks, Black womanhood, and Black maternal. Over the past ten years, she has worked with Children’s Theater Company, TruArt Speaks, Minneapolis Community Ed, Park Square Theater, Washburn High School, PBS Twin Cities Public Television, The University of Chicago, Guthrie Theater, Ambiance Theater, Exposed Brick Theatre, Tangible Collective, and Women for Political Change. Former Spotlight Education Teaching Artist in Residence at Hennepin Theater Trust. She’s currently a ECI Fellow. Eshay is committed to the work she does in the Twin Cities arts community and continues to plant seeds for a better future for Black babies. 

About her exhibit Ode to my Umi, Brantley shares, The resilience of Black Women shows up in each of us. I’d like to honor their stories and the intergenerational resilience and comfort giving generation to generation. I am interested in the intersectionalities of Blackness, meaning our culture and not our race and the other identities that we hold within the world and our culture. I am interested in fostering the narrative of Black folk, Black womanhood, and Black maternal. I am passionate about the African oral traditions of storytelling through the combination of mediums. I believe in carrying our stories forward in order to heal from our trauma while celebrating our culture and perseverance. Giving wisdom to the youth following our footsteps while creating their own steps. I believe that our stories have been repressed for so long, we need more expressions of them in their full light, honesty, and perplexity. Pushing the bounds of what people assume blackness to be or what depiction they expect

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