In April 2021, National Poetry Month, African Voices and the Lewis Latimer House Museum (LLHM) present My Soul Will Be A Star: The Resilience and Creativity of Our Immigrant Communities. The exhibition will open April 23, 2021 and features three artists from Brooklyn and Queens. The exhibition’s title is inspired by a poem by African-American inventor Lewis Latimer. A virtual artist talk will be held on April 23 at 6:30 pm via Zoom.
To RSVP: MY SOUL WILL BE A STAR
My Soul Will Be A Star is a virtual/interactive/visual exploration in the strength and resilience of Brooklyn and Queens immigrant artists who are striving in their communities during this age of COVID-19, racial reckoning, and political unrest. The title comes from Latimer’s Poem xi, “My Soul will be a Star.” The exhibition will be on view April 23 through June 30, 2021. The LLHM portion of the exhibition is co-curated by the South-East Queens Artists Alliance.
African Voices and Lewis Latimer House Museum will celebrate his work by placing the following line from his poem in their gallery space: “To guide and comfort all the souls that are, And welcome others to their final home.”
Lewis Howard Latimer [1848-1928] was an African American inventor, a son of fugitive slaves, self-taught poet and painter. His historic Victorian home in Flushing, Queens is now a New York City Landmark and museum. The museum’s mission is to call attention to Latimer and other People of Color’s contributions to American life, through multilingual tours, exhibitions, literature series, and STEAM education. Latimer’s life story is used as a point of departure from which to examine issues of race, class, immigration and contemporary events.
About the artists:
Keisha-Gaye Anderson is a multi-genre story teller. Her visual art is a conversation with the dreamscape, a walk through the unformed reality that holds the potential for all that is, and links us both as a collective and as discrete entities. She is inspired by patterns in nature, and water in particular. She enjoys exploring the geometry of lifeforms that appear throughout the totality of the natural word. Her process could be described as channeling or automatic writing. Keisha is more concerned with the cause of forms than the forms themselves. Through her work, she seeks to make visible the bridges between seen and unseen, and reveal the microcosms of our journey as one creation.
Sherese Francis‘s poem “Griot Sé/Mwen’s Beyonsense (National An/dem in Kwenglish)” will be printed on banner 1. Griot Sé/Mwen’s Beyonsense is an experimental anthem-poem (An/Dem) fusing together the different anthems from Sherese’s parent’s homelands (Barbados and Dominica) and America’s where the artist was born, picking out various words that stood out to her, breaking apart and fusing words to mimic the constant forming and eroding of land, which in turn mimics bodies moving in and out of a land, constantly reforming a nation.
Jacqueline Herranz-Brooks‘ work “All I See” contains two of the photographs the artist took in Forest Park, Queens during the first 8-9 months of the COVID pandemic lock-down in NYC: she was photographing, recording, meditating while walking on trails in Forest Park that were Rockaway and Lenape territory until 1635 and thinking about the “Trail of Tears” in the 1830’s and other forms of disenfranchisement and cultural annihilation in the US. A QR code will link to a digital map with audio recordings of poems the artist improvised during those walks in the park.
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