Art Omi: Blk
Art Omi: Blk is a two-week residency pilot developed by cat mahari (Art Omi: Dance AiR ‘22) that will bring together six self-identified Black artists that are counter-culture, outliers, radical thinkers, and innovative tradition bearers. Hosted by Art Omi in January 2024, the residency facilitates experiences that engender community building and encourages thinking with, through, and exploring the materiality/ideation of Blackness in the artists’ lives and practice.
Born in Ruston, Louisiana and raised across Louisiana, Maryland, and Texas, Aaliyah Christina makes dances and writes about dynamics in power/love, mental health, and Blackness. She is based in the South Side of Chicago and works as the Artist Programs Manager at Links Hall, co-organizes with Performance Response Journal (PRJ), and collaborates with community organizations and fellow artists across the city. In 2021 Aaliyah received the 3Arts Make-A-Wave grant and in 2023 she received the Illinois Arts Council Agency Artist Fellowship Finalist Award. She created PRAISE MOTHER, a dance theater project highlighting relationships between Black matriarchs and their kin through their mental health journeys.
Josue Hart is a designer to the deviating stars, occasional manikin, and your hood tailor capturing hearts from Texas to New York. As a founding member of the iconic House of Kenzo, Josue has played an instrumental role in shaping the vanguard of contemporary expression through a unique synthesis of movement and fashion. With a background rooted in the dynamic world of underground dance scenes, Josue’s journey began by fearlessly exploring diverse styles and techniques at a very young age.
Elisha Luckett is a self-taught Black American artist using blended soundscapes of moving images, poetry, and sculpture to explore the space-time horizons of passage within Black familial & spiritual life. Born in New Orleans and raised in Houston, he has exhibited at the George Washington Carver Museum in Austin and is currently a Community Teaching Fellow at the Houston Center For Photography.
Mario Lamar Major
Mario Lamar Major is an emerging painter and writer from the US based in Istanbul. His work explores the various ways that people of the African diaspora navigate Eurocentric spaces.
Keith N’Dong is an American vagabond using art to commemorate his travels and time spent on Earth. Focusing recently on the term “Thou Art,” Keith has been steering away from the capitalistic point of view of over-categorization as a means to market and sell oneself. Instead, now thinking of art as a synonym for being or existing, his main focus is the documentation of emotions that can be thought of as snapshots of pivotal and important moments in one’s life.
Ryan Tenney is a (Agri) Cultural worker from Kansas City. George Washington Carver’s research of the realms of the ecological, social, and synthetic have greatly influenced Ryan’s own synthesis of the fertile legacies of Black Agrarianism and the Black Arts Repertory Theatre. SunRa’s MythScience as a part of Black Agrarian Soil Science grounds the mycological breakdown and the mythological decomposition of strange fruit trees into a substrate for liberation. Ryan uses afrofuturism as a lens by which to reimagine socio-technological engagement with land, in order to pursue a fundamentally different tomorrow. Ryan incorporates collage, painting, soundtapes, and digital images to nurture the Black imaginary in order to generate alternative realities. Implicit in this project is the belief that another world is possible and planning for it is pragmatic.
cat mahari‘s practice is built from a richly layered body history, stemming from an archive of research, physical training, and intent to manifest an intellectual, material, and informal legacy of Blk liberation through documentation. By examining personal marks and socio-genealogical maps, she explores inner and outer environments. She finds that movement reveals an inherent awkwardness, strength, wildness, and humor sourced from the liminal language of experiences. Mahari is a culture bearer of Hip Hop and House; former member of the Krump family Gool, student of Princess Lockeroo, with a BFA in dance performance from UMKC and MA in performance, practice, and research from RCCSD.