Light Work Presents: Everything Is Connected is a new podcast where we share inspiring stories on a wide range of cultural and social issues worldwide. Our ultimate goal is to engage and inspire people to lead their best lives. We have special guest speakers and creative contemporaries who are shaping culture in art, sustainability, and the health and wellness industries join us. Stay tuned because you never know who we'll have on the show! We dive deep into art and culture with a focus on the African diaspora. Our guest speakers include artists, curators, entrepreneurs, and allied educators and creatives who are continuing to advocate for and support artists of color across the globe.
On this episode we're joined by Muna Malik - the multidisciplinary artist whose work spans photography, painting, and sculpture, to include a wide array of mediums that seek to create cultural awareness and understanding. Her work has also been featured in ArtForum and i-D Magazine. Malik also explores the complexities and entanglements between individuals and communities. The two core interrelated strands to her practice are using abstraction to explore the variations and nuances of identity, and the second is creating platforms for community connection through interactive installations, sculpture, and photography.While this episode - recorded in 2020 touches on her work with For Freedoms and it’s national campaigns throughout the US, Malik also participated in the Fountainhead Artist residency program in Miami. The month-long residency hosts artists from across the globe. Operating annually the Residency hosts 30-40 artists per year. Malik, born in Yemen, is a first-generation, Black Yemeni immigrant, whose road to the arts came by way of her innate passion to help others.
27 min 5 sec
On this episode, we're joined by Jerrell Gibbs. His vibrant paintings retrace family memories examining the origin of his own life by representing intimate and instantly joyous moments. Affirming the multilayered experience of the African American diaspora Gibbs plunges the viewer into an immersive experience through the realm of his childhood.Growing up in Baltimore influenced his perspective on socio-economics, body politics, race, economic disparities, and their influence on one another. Through his figurative portraits, Gibbs invigorates banal representations of black identity by depicting empathy, inviting the possibility for a spiritual connection. The works are adapted from small Polaroids into life-size paintings. Gibbs works from an archive of hundreds of family photos taken throughout the '70s and ’80s from family photo albumsThe Baltimore native graduated with an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, MD in 2020. His work is in the permanent collection of the Columbus Museum of Art, CC Foundation, X Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Los Angeles Museum of Art. Gibbs is represented by Mariane Ibrahim Gallery.
29 min 50 sec
On this episode, we’re joined by Nico Wheadon. She is an independent art advisor, curator, educator, and writer who adopts interdisciplinarity as a strategy for building a more responsive cultural ecosystem. An advocate for BIPOC and womxn artists in all endeavors, she uses her myriad platforms to expand the canon of contemporary art, whilst cultivating a community of professional practice and collective care. Through her consultancy, NICO WHEADON PROJECTS, she delivers cultural strategy and curatorial guidance to artists, cultural institutions, entrepreneurs, foundations, and government agencies. Nico is an adjunct professor at Barnard College, Brown University, and Hartford Art School, teaching at the intersections of art history, creative and cultural entrepreneurship, and museum studies.
34 min 32 sec
On this episode of Light Work presents: Everything is Connected, we are joined by Patrick Alston and Larry Ossei-Mensah. Alston has a solo show on at Ross and Kramer Gallery in Chelsea until May 14th 2021. We sat down to talk about how this new body of work came about, some of the themes that he's exploring in his most recent paintings, the relationship he's developed with Larry over the years, and building relationships based on respect trust and vulnerability as key markers for success. Patrick Alston energetically creates works that, along with the interplay of titles, trigger thought-provoking and reflective topics including but not limited to socio-politics, identity, language, and the psychology of color. Alston’s re-contextualized subjects, rich palettes,and complex compositions are dramatized exhilarating energies, expressed through mature gestural mark-making (some of which are reminiscent of the traditional graffiti culture of New York) that help to project an unwritten aesthetic which makes up the urban landscape.
31 min 29 sec
Welcome back for another season of Light Work presents: Everything Is Connected where we share inspiring stories with some of today’s hottest artists and art professionals in the field. From newly emerging talents to established artists in the field, we never shy away from important divisive topics. Join us for season two with more conversation on life, culture, and of course art! Listen to the trailer to see which artists will be on Season two!
2 min 47 sec
On our final episode of the season, Renee Cox shares some of her thoughts on Black life in America, discovering racism for the first time as a young artist, and validating oneself as a radical act of self-love in an oppressive capitalist society.
28 min 54 sec
Layo is a Nigerian artist mainly in the 3D space with sculptures that lend themselves to tell the story of her identity and cultural heritage as a West African woman born and raised in Lagos Nigeria. She currently lives and works in New York City. Bright completed her MFA at Parsons in 2018 with honors. In her newer works, she continues exploring themes of the self through portraiture using glass, clay, and traditional textiles to tell her story. www.layobright.com
32 min 56 sec
Cydne Jasmin Coleby, the Bahamian born artist who studied graphic design in her formative years at the University of the Bahamas, takes a mixed media approach to her works that deal with breaking new ground and achieving personal triumph in spite of trauma and loss. Using rich personal experiences as a backdrop for her creativity, Coleby fuses traditional Bahamian textiles with her skills in graphic design to create intricate collages deeply rooted in storytelling. In her own words she describes her work in more depth. "Self-reflection is an intrinsic aspect to my art practice. Through my graphic collages I examine personal and collective/ancestral relationships to trauma and conditioning. It’s hard to distinguish between which experiences inform rather than define our identity. My work aims to explore this grey area, while questioning our ability for healing, and to cultivate our individual and collective narratives, through these events.”
33 min 29 sec
Lucia Hierro is a New York based multimedia artist exploring themes of culture and class as seen through the lens of her eyes as a self-proclaimed Domninican New Yorker. The Yale MFA graduate creates distinct pieces using digital media, collage, painting, and installation to realize her life-sized works.through pop-at and notions of identity politics her work shows an understanding of the ways in which american consumerism and labor impact our everyday lives. From the years she spent growing up in New York’s Washington Heights to her time spent at Yale university, Hierro shares some of the intimate moments that led her towards a career in the arts and ultimately to her distinctive practice.
28 min 12 sec
I sat down with Mikhaile Solomon, the founder of Prizm Art Fair to learn more about how and why she started the Black-led fair which amplifies the work of Black artists working throughout the world. In this episode, recorded just a few weeks before Art Basel in Miami during the COVID pandemic we talked about her passions and why it’s so important that people - Black people especially - take agency over the narratives that shape perception and understanding of their cultural experiences. Prizm is pleased to present a dynamic fair with layered programming that is sure to capture the eyes and minds of our attendees. With over 30 emerging and established galleries and artists offering their varied Diasporic narratives and perspectives, riveting conversations lead by new and established thought leaders in Diasporic Visual arts practice, and cutting-edge events and installations that offer sensory delight.
28 min 41 sec
In an intimate conversation Delphine Diallo shared how she’s been developing her creative process through the COVID pandemic, why decolonizing the mind of western patriarchy is so important, and how her art seeks to create a new archetype for the Black woman. Delphine Diallo is a Brooklyn-based French and Senegalese visual artist and photographer. Diallo immerses herself in the realm of anthropology, mythology, religion, science and martial arts to release her mind. Her work takes her to far remote areas, as she insists on spending intimate time with her subjects to better represent their most innate energy. “My intention is to change the gaze in photography, create a new narrative to empower Black women and create new experiences for consciousness to expand. I want to bring a great new vision of black female archetypes: the explorer, the queen, the goddess, the innocent, the sage, the mother, the caregiver, the ruler, the lover, the spiritual warrior, the magician, the every woman, so many others.”www.delphinediallo.com www.lightworkco.com What We're Reading: The Women Who Run With Wolves
29 min 46 sec
Dexter Wimberly is an independent curator and entrepreneur who has organized exhibitions and developed programs with galleries and institutions throughout the world including The Third Line in Dubai; Contemporary Art Museum CAM Raleigh in North Carolina; The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) in San Francisco; Koki Arts in Tokyo; and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. His exhibitions have been reviewed and featured in publications including The New York Times, Artforum, and Hyperallergic; and have received support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Dexter Wimberly has served as Director of Strategic Planning at Independent Curators International in New York City. Wimberly is a Senior Critic at New York Academy of Art. He is the founder of ART WORLD CONFERENCE, a business and financial literacy conference for visual artists. He was recently listed in the Observer's "Arts Power 50: Changemakers Shaping the Art World in 2019." In 2020, Wimberly founded the Hayama Artist Residency in Hayama, Japan. Dexter Wimberly - www.dexterwimberly.comArt World Conference - www.artworldconference.comLight Work - www.lightworkco.comWhat We're Reading: Finite and Infinite Games
43 min 37 sec
Patrick Quarm is a contemporary painter who lives and works in Ghana. His use of richly patterned textiles from Ghana, painted on and cut out to reveal new shapes form a tapestry of historical references that confront ideas of Black and African identity. 'Quarm weaves and splices cultural signifiers from different eras and communities into multi-layered works that invite the viewer to explore them from different angles.' Quarm received his MFA at Texas Tech University and currently is showing his first New York City solo at Albertz Benda in Chelsea. The exhibition closes Saturday, Oct. 3rd. If you haven’t already, go check out his show. Albertz Benda - www.albertzbenda.com Patrick Quarm - www.patrickquarm.comLight Work - www.lightworkco.comWhat're Listening to: Oumou Sangare
27 min 4 sec
In this 2nd episode of a two-part series with Ferrari Sheppard, the artist shares some of the intimate details of his youth and the incredible experiences that shaped him into the man he is today. From growing up in Chicago to finding himself as a creative, and adding beauty to the world one painting at a time, Ferrari spoke openly about his passions as an artist and creative individual. If your in L.A. be sure to see his highly anticipated solo show at Wilding Cran gallery in Los Angeles, on view until Oct. 31st, or view it online. Ferrari Sheppard - www.ferrarisheppard.com Wilding Cran - www.wildingcran.com Light Work - www.lightworkco.com What Ferrari is Reading: Jack Whitten: Notes from the Woodshed
23 min 27 sec
In this first part of a two-part episode, Ferrari Sheppard joins me in conversation on living in Africa, finding his distinct style, and the rising consumption of Black art. Sheppard is a contemporary painter whose work has been described as raw figurative abstraction. His highly anticipated first solo show at Wilding Cran gallery opens in Los Angeles on September 12th 2020. Ferrari Sheppard - www.ferrarisheppard.comWilding Cran Gallery - www.wildingcran.comLight Work Company - www.lightworkco.comWhat Ferrari is Reading: Jack Whitten: Notes from the Woodshed
37 min 22 sec
Ludovic Nkoth is a MFA student at New York City's Hunter College, with several group and solos shows forthcoming this fall. On this episode, Nkoth discusses the ways in which his art can be used as an educational tool to teach Black people about their stolen African heritage through visual arts. We talked about his love of family, cooking, and the importance of keeping a great team of people close to him as sources of inspiration. Ludovic Nkoth - https://www.lnkoth.com/Ross & Kramer - https://rkgallery.com/ Light Work - https://lightworkco.com/ What We're Reading: Think and Grow Rich
30 min 14 sec
Khari Turner is an emerging artist currently in Columbia's 2021 MFA program. His work is a celebration of Blackness. While earlier undergraduate works focused on social justice and prison reform, Turner's current paintings are a celebration of Black life and focus on the deeply rooted relationship African-Americans hold to water or a lack thereof while exploring the nuances of love, identity, gender dynamics, and masculinity. Khari Turner @khari.raheem Sonya Clark - www.sonyaclark.com John Gray, Ghetto Gastro - www.ghettogastro.com Band of Vices - www.bandofvices.com Iris Project Residency - www.irisproject.com Original Music @lionkojo | www.soundcloud.com/lionkojo Light Work www.lightworkco.com | @lightworkcompany What We're Listening To: Burna Boy, African Giant
46 min 50 sec
On this episode Larry Ossei-Mensah joins Folasade Ologundudu in conversation on COVID-19, the Black Lives Matter movement and his work as an independent curator and one of the co-founders of ArtNoir. Ossei-Mensah has over a decade of experience in the arts industry and through ArtNoir highlights the talent of Black and Brown artists from across the globe. Larry Ossei Mensah: @youngglobal ArtNoir: @artnoirco Original Music: www.soundcloud.com/lionkojo | @lionkojo Light Work Co: www.lightworkco.com | @lightworkcompany What We're Reading: Khalil Gibran, The Prophet
31 min 7 sec
In this trailer, Folasade Ologundudu, the host and creator of Everything is Connected, introduces the ideas behind this new podcast. Everything is Connected features some of today's most diverse and interesting creatives working in art, education, and design. We discuss current events and culture. No topic is off-limits. We talk about race, sex, love, mental health, and the state of our world. Tune in! Original music: Lion Kojo | https://soundcloud.com/lionkojo | @lionkojo Light Work: www.lightworkco.com | @lightworkcompany
3 min 7 sec