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Jan 20 - Apr 24 2023

National Liberty Museum Announces Upcoming ‘Dreamlike’ Exhibition, Imagined Futures

The new 2023 exhibition breaks away from real-world conventions, presenting idealistic visions of contemporary societal issues to spark Museum guests’ civic action. Capping three years of exhibitions that pursue dialogues on the meaning and practice of liberty today, the National Liberty Museum (NLM) has announced its first exhibition for 2023, Imagined Futures, open to the public from January 20, 2023 – April 24, 2023. The juried exhibition features the work of 11 diverse artists working in a variety of mediums to present global perspectives and dreamlike visions of society’s potential futures.
Date
  • Jan 20 - Apr 24 2023

Location
  • 321 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia PA

20

January

Imagined Futures Start

24

April

Imagined Futures End

The exhibition artwork explores themes of ecology, community, liberation, and self-determination and interrogates society’s relationships with history, culture, and economy. Through different lenses, the exhibition examines powerful acts of historical reckoning and cultural healing, reinforcing the Museum’s vision of a world united in the work of preserving liberty and freedom for all.

“Here at the National Liberty Museum, we define liberty as action, and this exhibition is a way to open visitors’ eyes to what a world built in liberty for all can look like,” said Dr. Elizabeth Grant, Chief Program Officer of the National Liberty Museum. “We hope that through these works of art that explore potential futures and solutions to past and present concerns, our Museum guests can see how art has the power to drive conversation and positive change.”

Imagined Futures invited artists to reflect on the futures that could be, and the selected work showcases how translating varying pasts into visions of the future can empower generations to act in the present. The exhibition breaks away from real-world conventions and restraints, instead holding a mirror to contemporary societal issues and reflecting them into imagined realities. Ultimately, the exhibition calls on viewers to exercise civic action and champion a hopeful vision for a common future to bring imagined change into reality.

The artists for the Imagined Futures exhibition were selected by a panel of jurists, including Logan Cryer, Co-Curator of Icebox Project Space; Zindzi Harley, Assistant Curator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia; Raul Romero, Director for Special Projects at the University of the Arts; Teri Scott, Director of Marketing for the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Meet the Artists:

Agaba Solomon Peabo

Agaba Solomon Peabo is a self-taught multidisciplinary creative born and raised in Uganda. Agaba works in various fields from photography to digital art. His home country’s vibrant street colors inspired his love for street fashion photography. Street photography is the artist’s way of showing the world a frozen moment of life that they missed.  Agaba juxtaposes elements of reality with surrealism using digital art, a reverence for nature, and a love of the streets to produce Afro-futuristic and immersive photos of the Africa of his dreams.
Agaba ’s photography inspiration has always come from people and the history of Africa. The artist’s photography is nestled between reality and dreams; the dream of a better Africa and bringing that dream to reality is what inspires him everyday. Agaba is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Kyambogo University, Uganda. Agaba’s work has been featured and shown in several group exhibitions, such as Big Arts Exhibition, Florida(2022) curated by Wilson McCray and Youth Art and Innovation Fair in Geneva co-organized by two UN organizations – World Intellectual Property Organization and International Trade Center (2022). He has been part of the 32 degrees East Art residency in Kampala (2022) and Bakanal De Afrique Art fellowship (2020) in USA. Agaba has had honorable mentions from CNN Africa and Photoshop.

Annie Blazejack and Geddes Levenson
Annie Blazejack and Geddes Levenson have been working together for over a decade. In their paintings, sculptures, and installations, they explore the relationship between humans and ecosystems as climate change becomes increasingly inevitable. They focus on the radical transformation of Miami, their hometown, as sea levels rise and mangrove forests adapt. Blazejack received her MFA from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston / Tufts University, in 2013, while Levenson received her MFA from Pratt University in 2014.

Chau Nguyen
As a Vietnamese immigrant artist and educator based in Philadelphia, they draw from concepts of memory, translation, material transformation, Vietnamese historical archives, and the global supply chain to convey the complexity of postcolonial societies. Nguyen received their BA in Fine Arts and History of Art from Bryn Mawr College and their MFA in Painting from Tyler School of Art and Architecture. They were an artist-in-residence at Wassaic Project, Dear Artists, 77Art Center, and Chautauqua Art Institution. They have been in various group and solo exhibitions including the Delaware Contemporary, the Woodmere Art Museum, Temple Contemporary, Visionary Projects, HOT•BED Philly, AUTOMAT Collective, the Monmouth Museum, Studio Montclair, Philadelphia Sketch Club, Vincom Center for Contemporary Art (Vietnam), and Gallery Steinsland Berliner (Stockholm).

Heather Ujiie
Heather Ujiie is an Interdisciplinary Associate Professor at Moore College of Art & Design in Philadelphia, and her textile installations and artwork have been exhibited nationally and internationally. After growing up in NYC’s Greenwich Village as part of a family of artist educators, she believes her creativity comes from a lively bohemian childhood, and experience as both artist and designer. Her work synthesizes several methods of artistry, including painting, drawing, stitching, fiber manipulation, and digital printing technology on fabric. She hopes her digitally printed textile installations ignite deep spiritual forays into the imagination and generate reflection on what is hidden, whether it be our own personal demons or lust for life.

Juan Jose Cielo
Juan Jose Cielo is a Colombian-American artist based in New York City who works in painting, photography, and short films. Through his work, he creates space where Latino myth/folklore are part of the visions of a futuristic world. Cielo graduated from The Cooper Union in New York, with studies at the École Nationale Supérieure Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 2017, Cielo was selected as an artist-in-residence with scientists and researchers at the Mars Desert Research Station in Hanksville, Utah. His work has been featured in galleries and exhibitions including The Coral Springs Museum of Art, the Consulate of Colombia in New York City, and The Alliance Française in Bogota. Cielo is a 2023 artist-in-residence at The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, Florida. Cielo is the recipient of YoungArts’s $25,000 Jorge M. Pérez Award 2022.

Komikka Patton
Komikka Patton is a peripatetic 2D multimedia artist. Patton uses ink, paper, and various printmaking techniques to create works centrally based on the African Diasporan human condition; her large paper installations and collages touch futurism, transhumanism, mythology, and storytelling. Her work investigates stories; that disassemble and reassemble time, matter, space, and perspective, coupling fragments of thoughts, memories, and associations; with folklore, mysticism, and the metaphysical. Patton has been featured the in the World Trade Center and Hyperallergic. She is the winner of a Darryl Chappell Foundation Grant, NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship Finalist, and the May and Samuel Rudin Foundation Scholarship. She obtained her BFA in Fine Arts from Columbus College of Art & Design and an MFA from New York University.

Owo Anietie
As a Nigerian digital artist, he defines the medium with his innovative take on Afrofuturism to create new narratives with technology-based work. Informed by symbolism and reimagining the significance of African diaspora culture of ancient, pre-colonial sculptures, including the Benin Bronzes, Owo employs his formal training in Advertising, Building Technology, and multi-disciplinary art to inform his 3D and motion design-led practice. Inspired by science fiction literature, Owo sees the core concept of Afrofuturism as people dreaming of a better life. Recognized as an established creative presence within the African NFT community and beyond it, Owo’s narrative-based conceptual work has defined his meteoric rise in the crypto art space.

Nina Sumarac: As a Serbian-Cypriot multidisciplinary social visual artist based in Cyprus, she uses her background in fine art, painting, and mechanical engineering to question the very nature of daily global and bio-political narratives which form our consciousness and are also the revisitation of past experiences. She studied mechanical engineering and computer numerical control systems at Polytechnic University for New Technologies in New Belgrade, earned her BFA from Buckinghamshire New University in the United Kingdom, and obtained her Postgraduate Diploma in Fine Art from Cyprus College of Art in Larnaca. A multi-awarded artist, her works are in permanent collections in the State Gallery of Contemporary Cyprus Art, Municipal Gallery Limassol, and Byzantium Museum in Nicosia. She has had ten solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. She has previously worked on experimental films and animation production with her present collaborator, Toonachunks animation studio.

Sagar Kamath
An interdisciplinary artist that creates work exploring his identity as an Indian-born American through painting, digital design, and dance. He draws inspiration from traditional South Asian forms and aesthetics to create joyous chaos––appropriating aspects of Indian folk, traditional, classical art & dance in contrast to his existence as a Western-based and raised artist. sāgar is currently pursuing his MFA at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Smaragda Nitsopoulou
A video artist, film director, and editor from Greece, she explores the themes of memory and death in the Anthropocene era. Using found footage for her interactive pieces, she aims to evoke the ecumenical experience of death among the living. Her exhibition includes research-based artworks and the use of archival footage of the past to highlight the point of view of the future towards the past. She has participated in international festivals and art fairs such as Documenta 14, Video Art Miden & Simultan, and completed her first feature-length documentary, “Death Under Control,” in 2021.

Solarpunk Surf Club
Solarpunk Surf Club is an artist collective that creates and curates egalitarian platforms for surfing the waves of still-possible worlds. We elaborate on the aesthetics of solarpunk in order to bring forth the latent horizontalism and communalism inherent in social ecological reharmonization. Our works politicize, historicize, and demystify a collective ecological, utopian future. Solarpunk Surf Club has presented projects internationally in galleries, museums, festivals, conferences, libraries, activist gatherings, and forest occupations. In 2022, the collective received the Future Art Award: ECOSYSTEM X from MOZAIK Philanthropy (Los Angeles) for their artist’s game, Solarpunk Futures.

 

 

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