Artist Panel Discussion Moderated by Curator Shauna Holloway
Creative Arts Workshop is excited to announce the next installment of its Made Visible exhibition series. Made Visible: From Every Angle presents work by three Connecticut-based Black artists: Aileen Ishmael, Iyaba Ibo Mandingo, and Kyle Kearson. Curated by Shaunda Holloway, From Every Angle honors Black History Month with miniature and large-scale sculptures that address contemporary themes like mass incarceration, the embodiment of ancestry and DNA, and the beauty of the Black experience.
“Unlike a painting, a sculpture is to be seen in many ways. To observe a sculpture from a single perspective limits what it has to say,” writes Shaunda Sekai Holloway. “From Every Angle draws from three artists of the African Diaspora, highlighting Black presence through sculpture. Aileen Ishmael, Kyle Kearson, and Iyaba Mandingo create with a distinct style but a common desire to bring forth the beauty and radiance embedded within Black culture and the art from which it springs.”
MakeHaven board member and member Shaunda Sekai Holloway is a painter, printmaker, curator, and writer working in New Haven and Hamden. Recently, she curated the Remember My Struggle: Kae Me Br3 exhibition at Southern Connecticut State University, as a part of SCSU’s “1619: A Week of Commemoration” series. Holloway’s writing has been published in ESSENCE magazine, CT Post, the Inner City News, New Haven Review, Stand Our Ground: Poems for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander and other publications. Her paintings and prints have been exhibited throughout the East Coast, and across the globe, including New Delhi, India.
New Haven Arts Award recipient and longtime CAW community member, Holloway was one of three artists featured in CAW’s Fall 2020 Made Visible exhibition, supported by the Neighborhood Cultural Vitality grant program of the City of New Haven.
Aileen Ishmael is a multimedia artist exhibiting widely throughout Connecticut. She holds a degree in Fashion Fundamentals from Howard University, and experiments widely across mediums.
“Aileen Ishmael loves creating three-dimensional works drenched in brilliant color and stunning texture embracing metal, collage and paper,” writes Ishmael Art Studio. “Whether her audience finds beauty or the whisper of a message, she hopes it is thought-provoking and leaves a lasting impression.”
Iyaba Ibo Mandingo – painter, poet, writer, actor and playwright – is a native of Antigua, West Indies. Iyaba studied fine arts at Southern Connecticut State University and today teaches in the tri-state area. A renowned artist, many of Iyaba’s works have been included in several group and individual shows both in the United States and internationally, including the “Arresting Patterns” exhibit at the African American Museum of Philadelphia. He has been awarded several grants, including ones through the National Percent for the Arts Program and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts.
“I am a multi-disciplined artist from the Griot tradition,” writes Iyaba Ibo Mandingo. “My objective is to use the material, be it paint, ink, ‘garbage’ or found objects, words and theater, to tell the story of us.”
MakeHaven member Kyle Kearson is a contemporary artist born and raised in New Haven, CT. He has a passion for cultivating important conversations through art. Motivated by the power that objects have to stir up feelings, he creates sculptures to inspire people. The majority of his artwork deals with social issues and topics that are not often expressed through dynamic three-dimensional forms. As a Black sculptor he uses his work to examine the racial histories and disparities of America, promote thought about where we are today, and to present a moment for deep reflection.
Kearson earned his BFA in Sculpture/Ceramics from the University of Connecticut in 2016. Currently, he works as a Museum Technician at the Yale Center for British Art and serves on the board of directors at Artspace New Haven. He has exhibited his work throughout the state and maintains his studio practice in New Haven.
“CAW is thrilled to have Shaunda Holloway join us again for an exhibition, this time as curator. Her curatorial vision aligns with the aspirations of our exhibition program to address issues of equity and inclusion at CAW, and in the arts in New Haven. We are excited to have this constellation of artists present at CAW to help us engage meaningfully in artistic and social justice dialogue. Our aims are to present artists from the BIPOC community, and offer a platform for engaging in the twin conversations about art and social justice. In this work we hope to better serve and represent the New Haven community at large, and to continue our journey in this work which began with the Africa Salon and Sanctuary Cities exhibitions in 2019,” said Executive Director, Anne Coates.
Because the building, including the gallery spaces, are still closed to the public due to COVID-19, current CAW exhibitions are designed to be viewed “streetside” through the gallery windows. “At a time when businesses across the country are still shuttered due to COVID, we feel a renewed responsibility to continue activating the street and the Audubon Arts District in new ways, even as our building remains closed, “ says Coates. CAW’s windows can be viewed at any time via Audubon Street in New Haven, and its online gallery programs are free and open to the public via Zoom.